Skip to main content

Full text of "John Todd : the story of his life told mainly by himself"

See other formats


KaSj^. 



Digitized by tine Internet Arcliive 

in 2011 witli funding from 

Tine Institute of Museum and Library Services through an Indiana State Library LSTA Grant 



http://www.archive.org/details/johntoddstoryofh7223todd 



L 



JOHN TODD 



THE STORY OF HIS LIFE 



TOLD MAINLY BY HIMSELF 



COMPILED AND EDITED BY JOHN E. TODD 

PASTOE OF THE CUT7E0H OF THE EEDEEMER NEW HAVEN CONN. 




NEW YORK 
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS 

FEANKLIN SQUAEE 

1 8V6 



k 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, by 

Harper & Brothers, 

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



PREFACE. 



Autobiography is, probably, on the whole, the most 
satisfactory form of a story of a life. Doctor Todd never 
wrote an autobiography, or even kept a diary ; but in his 
published writings, under various disguises, and in his 
letters, a great mass of which are in preservation, he has 
told in his own language the different parts of the story 
which it has been the task of the compiler to find and knit 
together. In the accounts of the contests and troubles 
through which Doctor Todd passed in two of his minis- 
tries, the editor does not profess to have given a strictly 
accurate and impartial history. He has allowed Doctor 
Todd to give his version of the story, because the man, if 

^ he is to be judged fairly, must be considered in the light 

of things as they seemed to him. At the same time, the ed- 
itor has no reason to think that the accounts are in any 
respect essentially incorrect. His chief care has been to 

Q cut out all names and personal allusions which might hurt 

the feelings of the living, or do injustice to the dead, or 
tend to revive controversies which had now much better 
be left to oblivion, except so far as a general view of them 
is necessary to throw light upon the character which they 



6 PBEFACE. 

helped to form. Nor does the editor claim to have woven 
the materials at his disposal with an impartial hand. If 
there are any who feel disposed to complain that Doctor 
Todd is here made too beautiful a character, they will 
perhaps pardon it, in that it is the fault of 

His Son. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

HIS ANCESTRY. 



The old Minister. — Guinea Negroes. — Cusli and his Drum. — Justice Todd's 
Molasses. — Doctors Jonathan and Timothy. — The Pride of her Villag-e. — 
The House on the Battenkill. — The Unfortunate. — A new Flag. — The Doc- 
tor's Character. — The broken Harness. — Poetry under Difficulties. — An 
insane Mother Page 17 

CHAPTER 11. 

HIS INFANCY, 

The unwelcome Babe. — The Indian Doctor. — Tamar and Prim. — Massa Doc- 
tor's Dinner. — The Return to Connecticut. — Lost Lands. — 'Ittle Daw. — 
The first Home. — Poverty. — A Potato-digging. — The Sunset Lesson. — 
The naked Sword. — Family Prayers. — The sick Doctor. — A Lie. — Last 
Words. — A Child's Remorse. — The Widow's Moan. — Borrowed Shoes. — 
The Village Grave-yard.— The poor Orphan and the old Pastor.— The dark 
Messenger 24 

CHAPTER IIL 

HIS CHILDHOOD. 

North Killingworth. — The Skipper's Wife. — Tim's youngest Boy. — Primitive 
Times.— An old Church.— Birthplaces.— The first Hat.— Death of Echo.— 
The murdered Phebe. — The kind Uncle. — A Brave old Man. — Near the 
College. — The long Fish-pole. — The old Eagle-tree. — Madison. — Near the 
Sea. — The old Duck-gun. — White Stones. — Changes. — The old House. — 
Three great Men.— Forth Afoot 7. 38 

CHAPTER IV. 

LIFE AT CHARLESTOWN. 

A weary Tramp. — Homesick. — The Errand-boy. — Hard Work. — At School. 
— A queer Costume. — Spectacles. — Religious Influences. —Doctor Morse. — 
A sandy Foundation. — Convictions. — An everlasting Covenant. — To do 
Good. — The Sunday-school.— Determination to go to College.— The Walk 
back.— Examination.— The Cedar-bush.— The Bond 55 

CHAPTER V. 

LIFE AT COLLEGE. 

The young Freshman.— A smart Class.— The first School.— Wet Stockings. 
—A Terror to Evil-doers.— A borrowed Hatchet— The Sunday-school.— 



8 CONTENTS. 

Little Lewis. — " Cast thy Bread upon the Waters." — A great Revival. — 
111 Health.— Correspondence with Doctor Lee. — Farewell to Hotchkiss- 
towu Page 67 

CHAPTER VL 

LIFE AT COLLEGE — continued. 

A Thunderbolt. — An interesting Letter. — A Daniel come to Judgment. — At 
Colebrook. — A Tune with a harsh Name. — Impressions of a Stranger. — On 
Horseback. — Grand Isle. — A buoyant Spirit. — A family Meeting. — Malone. 
— Return to College. — Advised to Leave. — A Ride on the Ice. — Brig Wil- 
liam. — A kind Family.— Glimpses of Slavery. — A Saturday-evening Note. 
—Scandalous Books.— A Pilgrim Horse.— Health Restored.— Mr. Herrick's 
Pupil.— Staples's Academy.— The Osbornes.— Graduation 81 

CHAPTER VIL 

LIFE AT ANDOVER. 

Andover Hill.— Doctor Porter.— Doctor Woods.— Doctor Stuart.— Doctor 
Murdock. — Quiet Life. — A Letter of Introduction. — Preaching without a 
License. — Qualities of a Minister's Wife. — Memories. — The first Sermon. 
— North Andover. — The blind Student. — A solemn Contract. — Loves to 
Preach.— A pedestrian Tour.— Osborueville.— Expectant Friends 97 

CHAPTER VIIL 

LIFE AT ANDOVER — Continued. 

A Day's Work.— Ill Health. — Steam-cars wanted. — A Trip to Cape Cod. — 
The Captain-doctor.— Mirth under DiflBculties. — Plymouth Rock. — A Dis- 
pute with Conscience.— Determines to preach extempore. — In the Editor's 
Chair. — Can not change Profession. — A promising young Man. — The Way 
clear 109 

CHAPTER IX. 

LIFE AT ANDOVER — Continued. 

Doctor Eli Todd. — The new Librarian. — A Pseudo-Baptist. — Answers Him- 
self. — A wise Professor. — An anonymous Letter. — Vanity. — Licensed by 
Professors. — The first Preaching. — Competitors for Valedictory. — Dan- 
gers at the Seminary.— The Christian Almanac. — Wanted for Palestine. — 
The Hawk and the Jay. — Two Orators. — Doctor Grifiin. — Fanny Fern. — 
A religious Fourth. — Tiie Association at Dedham. — The Oration at Park 
Street. — An awful Question. — A beautiful Prayer 119 

CHAPTER X. 

LIFE AT ANDOVER — Continued. 

A Disappointment. — A Saturday-afternoon Ride. — Groton. — The old Min- 
ister. — An unlooked-for Supply. — A Dinner-party. — Calls. — The Scholar- 
ship. — The Suicide. — A second Visit to Groton. — A Unitarian Church. — 
A Dilemma. — Dislikes to Go. — Honorable Intentions.— Graduates at An- 
dover. — Arrives at Groton. — A crowded House. — Meat for Lions. — What 
Unitarians say. — The Babbler. — Closely Watched. — Intends to split the 
Society.— An Epidemic— Notes up.— Toddy on the Coffin.— Enemies and 
Friends.— The little Girl and her Chestnuts.— Toddites.— Thanksgiving- 
day. — Hurries away. — A Town in an Uproar 135 



CONTENTS. 9 

CHAPTER XI. 

LIFE AT ANDOVER — Continued. 

Reasons for Flight.— Defeat.— A stormy World.— Retirement.— Rumors.— 
The Petition.— A wild Congregation.— Petition rejected.— Claim of the 
old Pastor.— A Night Ride. — Moderation advised. — Constables at the 
Church-door.— A Council.— A Committee handled without Gloves.— The 
Call answered.— A Broad-axe Sermon.— A Sunday at Portsmouth.— The 
first Sermon in a new Church.— Genuine Drudgery.— Another Defeat.— 
Another Council. — Compromise rejected. —An Invitation accepted.— 
Dread.— Good-bye to Andover Page 149 

CHAPTER XII. 

LIFE AT GROTON. 

Preaching in the Academy.— Rum in the Meeting-house.— Invitation to 
Portland.— A Bible-class.— Hell the same as Eternity.— A Stage-ride.— 
A young Lady's Desk.— Which is the Church?— Corner-stone 'laid and 
thrown down.— A Council.— Beecher on Rights of Churches.— The new 
Gown.— Invitation to Danvers.— The poor Bee.— The Raising.— A Scene 
at the Church-door.— An Installation Ball.— A Revival.— Conduct of the 
Inquiry-meeting. — A Remonstrance. — Organization of a new Church. — 
A^Trap. — The Linchpins.— Call from the Union Church.— The Answer.— 
Changes 165 

CHAPTER XIII. 

LIFE AT GROTON — Continued. 

Ordination. — Dedication — Shawls without Fringes. — Sale of Pews. — Reviv- 
als. — Sickness. — A hard Journey. — A Sunday-evening Meeting. — Girdling 
Trees. — The Bride. — Examination. — A great Barn of a Thing. — Sunday- 
school begun. — Active Ladies. — A judicious Pig. — A new Horse. — An un- 
expected Arrival. — A T^'eek of Hope. — Fears. — A household Baptism. — 
Tears in the Pulpit. — A sad Evening. — The Rose-bud plucked. — A little 
Funeral.— Memories 180 

CHAPTER XIV, 

LIFE AT GROTON — Continued. 

How to get a Bell. — The best House in Town. — The haunted House. — Pat- 
tering of little Feet. — A Unitarian Funeral. — Immortal Hens. — Mission- 
ary Visitations. — A Runaway. — An extraordinary Woman. — A Baby In- 
firmary. — Invitation to a Funeral declined. — The Letter. — A New-comer. 
— Death of Doctor Chaplin. — The bereaved Father. — A lazy Agent. — Med- 
icine with a Vengeance. — A pretty Girl. — The dying young Man. — Results 
of the Groton Movement. — Author vs^ Pastor 195 

CHAPTER XV. 

LIFE AT GROTON — Continued. 

Boarding. — A crying Child. — A Horse mired.— A new Parish.— Purchase of a 
Horse.— The lame Boy.— Temperance. — A Horse-trade. — A new Vestry.— 
Inks. — The Barrel of Brimstone.— Trip to Philadelphia.— A mighty Con- 
cern. — Yankee Character.— A Revival.— Piety of Ministers.— Morbid Feel- 
ings. — Depression. — An Idol. — The Deist in the Inquiry-meeting. — A won- 
derful Time.— Union of Churches.— A Call refused 209 



10 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XVI. 

LIFE AT GROTON — continued. 

The new Cloak.— A kindred Spirit. — Another Arrival. — Antimasonry.— 
Death of Doctor Chaplin.— Death of Mr. Evarts.— A second Hamlet. — A 
four days' Meeting.— The House divided.— Bochim.— The last Day of the 
Feast. — Powerful Medicine. — The Bowling-alley. — Early Meetings.— 
Alone.— The black Kitten.— The lost Puppy.— Homesick.— Hard Work. 
—Milk Diet.— Sick.— Meeting at Sodom.— A Journey.— The Poles.— The 
Slaves.— One Foot in the Stirrup.— Basted together.— Poor Tea.— A Prov- 
idential Dispensation.— Stormy Times.— Death of a Sister.— Called to Sa- 
lem.— A handsome Grave.— Council.— Dismission refused.— Broken up.— 
Another Call.— Farewell to Groton Page 221 

CHAPTER XVII. 

LIFE AT NORTHAMPTON. 

A beautiful Town.— In the Town-hall. — The Building-spot.— No Stores.— 
An anxious Day.— A judicious Irishman. — The Baptist Meeting-house.— 
A Revival.— Bitter Memories. — The sick Child.— Just alive.— Out of Dan- 
ger. — The Communion-plate. — A green Spot.— New Theology.— Nothing 
Accomplished. — Error Misapprehended. — A Son. — Dedication. — Always 
too Late.— Ramming down.— The Devil losing Ground. — Meetings ! Meet- 
ings !— The Baby at Church.— The Ministry at Fault.- A Book 236 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

LIFE AT NORTHAMPTON — Continued. 

Vacation. — A Presentiment. ^The Red Sea. —The Devil's Invention.— An 
Organ Difficulty.— The old Pastor's Sunset. — Mrs. Toddan Author.— Keep 
Cool. — Mount Hol3'oke Seminary. — A new House. — Student's Manual. — 
Under the Wheel. — The Door Locked. — A Call. — Frozen Rattlesnakes. — 
A Revival.— Council in Philadelphia. — A loud Call. — Hangs back. — Beech- 
er at the Oar. — A gloomy Time. — A great Move. — A pleasant Home Broken 
Up. — Farewell to Northampton 250 

CHAPTER XIX. 

LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA, 

A new Sunday-school.— A new Church.— A new Pastor.— Helps.— Hinder- 
ances.— Installation.— Salting a River.— A bitter Minister.— Solemn Meet- 
ings. — Lectures on Sunday-schools.— Paul for a Colleague.— Panic— Two 
General Assemblies. — No Salary. — A sad Journey. — The morning Cloud. — 
Dedication.— The Spark.— A Howl. — Take it Coolly.— Galvanism.— The 
Dutchman's Horse. — Gathering the Harvest. — Resolving. — Work accom- 
plished. — Sabbath School Teacher in London. — Mustard-seed Souls — To 
the Editor of the Keepsake. — Life of Scott. — Reminiscences. — Will not be 
Soured 261 

CHAPTER XX. 

LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA — Continued. 

The old Gun. — Annealed Wire. — The Dinner-set. — Measles. —A new House. 
—To Miss Beecher.— The Clam split open.— The Maple Molasses.— Lungs 
of Leather.— Cholera Infantum. — Dispatch. — Anguish of Spirit.— Robert 
Hall. — Bowditch. — The plucked Rose. — The still, small Voice. — Nesting 



COXTESTS. 11 

out of the Pulpit. —Not Paid.— A young Ladies' School.- ABoys' School. 
—A daily Newspaper.— To Mrs. Palmer.— Congregationalism.— Preaching 
Sovereignty. — Trials of building a new Church. — Swine and the Water. — 
Genius. — Boys' Education. — Sighs for New England Page 273 

CHAPTER XXI. 

LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA — Continued. 

Revival.-" Truth made Simple."— Difficulties.— Young Men's Association. 
— A wonderful Meeting. — Quidnunc's Letters. — Billy. — A Day of Calam- 
ities. — A fearful Medicine. — " Oh, rise some other such !" — A great Pro- 
fession.— Quarrels.— Scarlet Fever.— Did what he could. —Five sick at 
once. — Sermons in the Sick-room. — What a Storm! — A hard Row. — 
The Place for Usefulness.- Italian Darkness.— A city Church.— Preaching 
of Doctor Kirk. — Dissatisfied Evangelists. — Abandoned. — The resolving 
System. — Abundant Labors.— Never so Prosperous. — Varioloid. — A hard 
Year. — The lost Sister. — Disaffection. — Wholesale Lies. — Water on a Rock. 
—Threads of Gold 287 

CHAPTER XXII. 

LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA continued. 

A kind Publisher.- Scalding Water.— Great Cities.— The Pension.— Char- 
acter attacked. — A severe Ordeal. — Insults. — A boyish Heart. — Days of 
Anguish. — Temporary Peace. — Vacation. — Burlington College. — First 
Glimpse of Adirondacks. — The Backing- spider. — Philosophical Fog. — 
Winking. — In the Woods. — Restored. — Welcome Home. — A mortgaged 
Church for Sale. — A distressed People.— A solemn Birthday. — Dismission 
asked. — Postponement. — Efforts. — Tears. — All over.— A Cradle overhung 
with Gloom. — In a Hall. — How far a Failure. — Causes. — How little lacked. 
— Presbyterian Generosity. — Congregational Liberality.^A heavy Blow. 
— Character saved. — Invited to Remain. — The scattered People. — Farewell 
to Philadelphia 300 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 

A great Change. — Pittsfield as it Was. — Every thing Strange. — Immersion 
under Difficulties.— Jack Frost in the Pulpit. — The old Church.— A great 
People. — Discouragements. — Revival. — A cheerful World. — Installation. — 
The Stake va. Gnats. — In the Parsonage. — A stormy Night. — "You're 
burning up." — " Where are the Children ?" — All over. — A Home gone. — 
"All I have left."— A dark Cloud.— All Kindness.- Trips to Philadelphia. 
— In the old Pulpit. — A mere Dream.— A Town awed.— The Inquiry- 
meeting., — "I'm your own Mary." — Deep Waters. — Hope. — A cold Snap. 
—Evil Tidings.— A great-soulcd Brother.— Cut down Trunk and Branches. 
— Ministers tauaht. — The clouded Mind clear at last. — "No more than 
my Duty " 7 314 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD — continuea. 

A new Parsonage. — Not much to Do. — Berkshire Jubilee. — A Book-seller. — 
Samuel.— Revival.— The Farm.— Desire for a Home.— Great Preparations. 
—The lame Boy's Wedding, Sickness, and Death.— Death of Doctor Shep- 
ard.— Chronicles.— The new Lecture -room.— A good Fight. — D.D.— 
Beautiful Gardens.— Six Towels.— A remarkable President.— Fanny For- 



1 2 CONTENTS. 

rester.— The sick Baby. — Physicians BaflSed.— Still with us.— Lent to trie 
Lord. — A great Vacancy. — An Epitaph. — Wonderful Work. — The Spirit 
here.— Three Times in a Fortnight. — King's Sons Fage 328 

CHAPTER XXV. 

LIFE AT PiTTSFiELD — Continued. 

An absent Child. — Letters of Encouragement. — "Make them love you." — 
Not Beloved enough. — Not Affectionate enough. — Children joining the 
Church.— Blue-pill Diet. —Preparations. —Winter at Hand.— A fairy Thing. 
— A sick Child. — A big Temperance Pledge. — Two ends of a Glass. — Mag. 
— Tableaux. — Colonizing meditated. — Once more an Editor. — Another 
Baby. — Worse than a Ghost. — " I'll be Mum." — Laying a Corner-stone. — 
A Mighty Pyramid. — Miss Lyon. — John Foster. — First Meeting of the 
American Board. — A peculiar Revival. — An endless -chain Meeting. — A 
pleasant Revival.— Close of the Year. — A Fire.— The Father of Church- 
es. — Proposals from Philadelphia. — Visit to New Haven. — Memories. — 
" Didn't know he was so much hurt." — A surgical Operation. — Voice ^>,s■. 
Brains. — A Dedication 343 

CHAPTER XXVL 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD — Continued. 

An Indian's Letter. — An Indian's Reply. — The Water-cure. — Fitted to 
adorn.— Doctoring a Father-in-law. — An Invitation. — The old Eagle. — 
Oaken Literature. — Gushing Waters. — Death of a Mother. — Slaughtering 
Weapons. — An open Mouth. — A Resignation. — A new Member of the Fam- 
ily.— Gabriel's Complaint.— Trip to the West.— Snows.— Spiritual Long- 
ings. — Surgeons. — A Blow. — Must not Preach. — To Europe. — Not a sound 
Man. — Two Enemies. — The Barber's Shop. — The Dutch Minister. — Rem- 
iniscences. — Description of Pittsfield. — A Flower-garden. — The Bus}' Bee. 
—What an Argument !— The Taper and the Sun 363 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD — Continued. 

The Burden of Souls.— A Wedding.— A Todd Trade.— A Storm.— Solitary.— 
"My Father's House." — Not Unhappy.— A cold People.— The old Wheel- 
horse. — "We stand on Character." — The sick Daughter. — A Son in the 
Pulpit. — Diphtheria. — The World Mad.— Death of Doctor Humphrey.— 
Death of Doctor Brace. —The old Father. — Stopped in the Pulpit.— A 
queer Infirmity. — The War. — "Ye are Idle." — " Teridresse maternelle.-'' — A 
River of Providence. — A lean Ministry. — Economy. — Horseback. — A Let- 
ter from the West. — An Accident. — Clinging to Life. — Going. — Mary 
Slept. — A Vacancy. — Polished Diamonds. — The Garden of Hope 378 

CHAPTER XXVIIL 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD — Continued. 

The fatted Calf.— Message to a Prayer-meeting.— Sick.— At Saratoga.— Second 
Meeting of the American Board. — "Vanity Fair." — An honorable Charac- 
ter. — A John Gilpin Time. — Chronicles. — Billy in the Pulpit. — Ring-tailed 
Monkeys. — The Power of Prayer. — Raffling. — A great Matter. — Thanks. — 
Trip to California.— The last Rail.— A holy Fossil.— The Mormon Temple. 
— Weak Consciences. — Sermon before the American Board. — Times of Paul. 
— New Lecture-room.— Swaying Bedclothes. — How to deal with Tempta- 
tion. — A Pocket-pistol, — Rutland Centennial. — The Resignation 394 



CONTENTS. 13 

CHAPTER XXIX. 

LIFE AT PiTTSFiELD — Continued. 

The old Ship.— These Wives.— Fern Pastures.— Breaking of Heart.— The 
sick Child.— A sad Baptism.— Fa?e.— The Rainbow.— Spirits in Prison.— 
Frozen together. — The Decrees. — Au active old Man. — Alarming Attack. 
— Duties relinquished. — Kindness of Parish. — To a bereaved Brother. — 
To Saxum Magnum. — The deceased young Minister. — To his Successor. — 
A mere Babe.— Turning into a Shadow.— Trip to Philadelphia.— Green Re- 
membrance.— The last Communion.— The last Baptism.— To the President 
of a University. — A Letter of Consolation.— The last Sermon Page 411 

CHAPTER XXX. 

His STUDY. 

A pleasant Room.— The Library.— Missionary Magazines.— Positively Dis- 
graceful. — An omnivorous Reader. — Guns. — The "Wood-nymph. — Drawers 
of Sermons.— Canes.— The Golden Wedding.— The sick Child.— Two old 
Pastors. — The hard Man.— Jerusalem. — The lame Brother. — Mementoes. 
— The Fisherman's Lounge. — Pain. — The Desk. — The stolen Kuife. — The 
Clock. — The Chair. — The inner Life of Imagination, Memory, Hope. — 
Soi^rces of Power ., 426 

CHAPTER XXXL 

DOCTOR TODD AS A PREACHER. 

Ambition to be a Preacher. — Conception of the Office. — The Greatest of 
Sciences. — Middle Ground. — His Doctrines. — No uncertain Sound. — Prac- 
tical Preaching. — Reverence for the W^ord of God. — No Doubts. — Com- 
mentaries. — Henry.— David and Paul. — Jonathan Edwards. — Thomas 
Chalmers. — Extempore Preaching. — Planning a Sermon.— Manner of 
Writing.— Careless Style. — Appearance in the Pulpit. — Dress. — Beauty. — 
Voice. — Manner. — Pra\ers. — Hymns. — Characteristics of Preaching. — 
Simple Language. — Thought. — Illustration. — Solemnity.— Purifying the 
Fountain. — Knowledge of Human Nature. — Pathos.— Enthusiasm. — Im- 
agination. — Dramatic Power. — The Mount of God. — "It doth not yet 
appear" 440 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

DOCTOR TODD AS AN AUTHOR. 

How he came to W^rite.— The Poor-house.— Little Johnny.— The Bellows.— 
The only One who Printed them.— Lectures to Children.— How to put 
Babies to Sleep.— Simple Sketches.— Student's Manual.— A Relic of Frank- 
lin. — An Accident. — "Index Rerum." — "Sabbath School Teacher." — A 
Public Reception.— "Truth made Simple."— The French Chamber-maid. 
—Little Mary.— The King's Ring.— Power over Children.— Stories on thu 
Catechism.— The Serpent in the Dove's Nest— Woman's Rights.— The 
Sunset Land. — Scraps of Time.— Wrote to do Good. — No Money.— A 
great Life-work 458 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

HIS RECREATIONS. 

Early Vacations.— The Adirondacks.— Two hundred Lakes.— Nothing but 
Deer.— Hunters' Slander.— Love of Nature.— Religion in the Forest.— 



14 CONTENTS. 

The Sabbath. — Long Lake. — A Church in the Wilderness. — ^A starved 
Missionary. — Who Cares for the poor Settlers? — One of his Deacons. 
— Hobbies. — Fishing-tackle. — Never did like Trout. — Shooting- irons. — 
Bees.— In the Attic— Lazy Emblems.— Tlie Temple.— A Hivite. — Buried 
Alive. — The Power of a Sting. — Hens. — Patent Inventions. — A Carica- 
ture. — A Peace-offering. — The Game-cock. — Gardening. — Conservatories. 
— Consider the Lilies. — The Killiugworth Parson. — Remarks at the Com- 
munion - table. — The Farm. — Shade - trees. — Alderneys. — The Wherry. — 
The Launch.— The Thunder-storm.— The Workshop.— The Frying-pan.— 
An Apology.— A Relief.— A Weakness incident to Strength.— A little 
Child Page 478 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 

DOCTOR TODD AT HOME. 

Wide Sympathies.— The Ballot-box. — Patriotism. — A Bishop.— ^spn'i de 
Corps. — The Doctors.— A high Mountain. — A good Citizen. — Schools. — 
Improvements.— Sprinkling.— The Poor.— A converted Jew. — Systematic 
Benevolence. — Achievements. — Preacher vs. Pastor. — Disappointed Dea- 
cons. — A Critic silenced.— A good Companion. — Spiritualism.— A wide 
Circulation. — The Peddler. — Methodist Prayers. — The Under-tone. — Ques- 
tions. — ' ' Very Satisfaction. " — " Slightly, Sir. " — Hospitalities. — Jokes. — 
The Bed made. — Visitors. — Overestimated Friends. — Children's Sports. — 
Thanksgiving Presents. — Discipline. — A Pea -brush. — The family Post- 
office. — The family Tryst. — Education. — Love Affairs. — Religion in the 
Family. — "Prayers." — Saturday Night. — The Sabbath. — Hymns and 
Questions. — The right Line of Thought. — Religious Conversation. — Ad- 
vice. — A wonderful Woman. — Acknowledgments. — A Love-letter. — Home 
loved 493 

CHAPTER XXXV. 

SAILING AAVAY, 

Sickness. — The old Maple. — An after-dinner Speech. — The last Preaching. — 
A Letter of Sympathy. — The last Funeral. — His Piece ready. — The last 
Letter. — A Request for Prayers. — A distressing Sickness. — Anxiety of the 
People. — Longing to Live. — No Light from Beyond. — Thoughtfulness for 
Others. — Midnight Talks. — Among the Crags. — The Consolations of God. 
— A striking Prayer. — Interview with the young Pastor. — Message to the 
People.— A little Child at the Door.— A Desire to depart.— Saturday Night. 
— The Messenger.— Last Words,— Sleep.— Sabbath Morning.— The Funer- 
al 515 

Appendix 1 526 

Appendix II , 529 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Pagk 

PoKTEAiT OF Dk. Todd, WITH AUTOGRAPH Frontispiece. 

The Old Sanctuary faces 165 

Lawrence Academy, Groton, Massachusetts " 180 

First Congregational Church, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. . . '' 314 

Dr. Todd's Residence " 318 

Dr. Todd's Study 427 

The Fountain 430 

The Church in the Wilderness faces 478 

Camp on Jackson's Pond 476 

Dr. Todd's Workshop 489 



JOHN TODD: 

THE STORY OF HIS LIFE 



CHAPTER I. 

HIS ANCESTRY. 

The old Minister. — Guinea Negroes. — Cush and his Drum. — Justice Todd's 
Molasses. — Doctors Jonathan and Timothy. — The Pride of her Village. 
—The House on the Battenkill.— The Unfortunate.— A new Flag.— The 
Doctor's Character. — The broken Harness. — Poetry under Difficulties. — 
An insane Mother. 

" My great-uncle was a plain, primitive clergyman in old- 
en times. He lived a very long^ quiet life, dwelling among 
his own people, equally primitive. He seldom went out of 
his little parish ; and though he was a great student and 
thorough scholar, yet in the things of this world he was a 
child in simplicity. It so happened that there was a vessel 
cast ashore near his house, and from the wreck several Af- 
ricans, directly from Guinea, emerged. I never knew all the 
circumstances, but they came into his hands, and my uncle 
made pets of them all. He thought of instructing and ed- 
ucating them, and sending them back to Africa; and he 
thought of making them school-teachers here ; and he had 
divers schemes for their elevation. But they were full- 
grown people, could not speak a word of English, were im- 
mensely stupid, and having never been brought up to work, 
were any thing but industrious. He gave them Scripture 
names — Cush, Tamar, and the like. Cush was the oldest, 
uniting simplicity and cunning, so that it was often difficult 
to say on which principle he was acting. His simplicity al- 
ways had his own ends in view. Among his exploits, he got 
up a company of boys as soldiers. He made them long 
sticks for guns, but — a drum ! He set his heart on having 
a drum for his company. In those days gentlemen wore 

2 



18 JOHN TODD. 

sraall clothes and white-top boots. My uncle was nice in 
his dress, and no one in his parish had his head in more per- 
fect wig, or his feet in more becoming white-top boots. At 
great expense and pains he had procured a side of white 
leather for his boots, and laid it up carefully. All at once 
the leather was gone. But a smothered sound from some- 
tliing called a drum among the boy-soldiers revealed the se- 
cret. When called to account, Cush gravely answered his 
master that his company were delighted, and said, ' De min- 
ister had more patriotism than all de gemmen in de town.'" 
As the old minister had no children, these negroes at- 
tached themselves to the children of his brother Timothy, 
who lived near, and many are the family traditions of their 
affection and fidelity. At the death of their master, those 
of them who survived were by his will emancipated, with 
their families. It seems that he had long been " convinced in 
his own mind that the enslaving of the Africans brought from 
Africa, or born in this coun-try, was unjust, and one of the 
sins of the land." Like many others of his time, however, 
he could never quite bring himself to make the sacrifices in- 
volved in an act of emancipation, but preferred to perform 
this act of justice at the expense of his heirs. His servants, 
however, did not particularly suffer at his hands. He was a 
man of singularly amiable disposition, and as a preacher and 
pastor left behind him an enviable reputation for learning, 
fidelity, and Christian character and influence. 

His brother Timothy was a merchant as well as a farmer, 
and was for many years a, magistrate. During the Revolu- 
tionary struggle, a man came to him one day for a search- 
warrant, to authorize him to look for certain smuggled goods 
on the premises of one Thomas Wilcox. Justice Todd made 
out the warrant, as in duty bound, but found an opportunity, 
while doing it, to direct his eldest daughter, Elizabeth, to take 
horse instantly, and ride over and notify his friend Wilcox 
of his danger. She at once left the barrel from which she 
was drawing molasses at the moment, and, springing on the 
bare back of the first horse she could catch, flew to do the 
errand, which she performed successfully. Mr. Wilcox's boys 
hid the smuggled goods under a heap of tan bark, and the 
search-warrant was of no use. Elizabeth returned, however, 
^ to find that in her haste she had left the molasses running, 



HIS ANCESTRY. 19 

and the barrel was empty. But as she subsequently married 
cue of "the Wilcox boys," the loss was not without its con- 
solations. 

Having made large purchases of goods on credit, Squire 
Todd became very much embarrassed by the rapid deprecia- 
tion of the Continental currency, and when, in the midst of 
life, he was suddenly cut off by that scourge of our fathers, 
the small-pox, he was found to be insolvent. His sons, how- 
ever, voluntarily assumed his debts, and in the end honora- 
bly discharged them. 

Of the nine children of the worthy magistrate, two, Jon- 
athan and Timothy, became physicians, and physicians of 
more than ordinary repute. Jonathan settled in his native 
town, and became one of its most important citizens; but 
Timothy determined to seek his fortune with the stream of 
emigation which was then rolling slowly into Vermont. Al- 
ready before his father's death he had visited Vermont, and 
engaged in the battle of Bennington. Having obtained a 
scanty medical education, he se.ttled, on the conclusion of 
peace, in the little town of Arlington, about fourteen miles 
north of Bennington, having first returned to Connecticut 
to marry Phebe, daughter of Captain Jehiel Buel, of Killing- 
worth, now Clinton. 

"My mother, when young, was a most accomplished lady, 
for those times. She enjoyed all the advantages of educa- 
tion that a young lady could at that time. She was hand- 
some, her air easy and graceful. She was the delight of her 
parents and friends, and the pride of her village. Alas ! how 
little did my poor father think of the change he should live 
to see !" 

Arlington was at that time a fi-ontier town, the whole 
upper part of the State being a wilderness. Kept from ad- 
vancing beyond the line of civilization by fear of the In- 
dians, the constantly arriving emigrants crowded along the 
frontier. For this reason Arlington was then a place of 
more inhabitants and more importance than it has ever been 
since. About two miles north of the village, the young 
doctor " purchased a small farm near the Battenkill, an in- 
considerable river so called, and built a small brick house 
thereon, by the expense of which he was for a time some- 
what embarrassed," although it was built in large part by 



20 JOHN TODD. 

his own hands. This house is still standing, substantially 
unaltered, and in excellent repair. "It stands in a deep but 
most lovely valley, between two lofty prominences of the 
Green Mountains. In front and eastward runs the road, 
which follows the valley through the State ; and a little be- 
yond, the beautiful little Battenkill River runs and tumbles 
among the smooth rocks. A little farther east rises the lofty 
mountain, covered with forest trees thick and rich, and dark 
and mysterious." 

In this romantic spot Doctor Todd lived many years; 
and here six of his seven children were born. "He was 
active, resolute, and persevering: his professional reputa- 
tion was rising, and he soon had a pretty extensive circle 
of medical practice." He also engaged in business, having 
built a furnace for the smelting of iron ; and the firm of 
Todd and Camfield became one of rej^ute and importance. 
He was a man of considerable literary taste and talent, and 
wrote many medical and other articles for the journals of 
the day, and on various occasions pronounced popular ora- 
tions. A curious little memorandum-book of his, still pre- 
served, contains, in his own handwriting, " an abstract view 
of the miscellaneous writings of Timothy Todd, the imfortu^ 
nateP The catalogue gives the titles of orations, contri- 
butions to magazines, poems, plays, some of which were act: 
ed, and even operas, most of them having reference to poli- 
tics. In many ways he manifested a decided fondness for 
public life and notoriety. He was a freemason, and was 
termed a noted mason. He joined the military, and bore 
a captain's commission. He was an ardent politician, and 
strongly patriotic in his feelings ; an enthusiastic Federal- 
ist, and strongly opposed to the Democrats. 

" One third day of July, my father procured a tall liber- 
ty-pole and set it up in front of his house, intending to raise 
a flag the next day. Early in the morning it was found 
that in the course of the night a large bear had come down 
from the mountain, and climbed the pole, and taken posses- 
sion of the top of it. Of course the Democrats were delight- 
ed, and lost no opportunity of teasing the patriotic doctor 
about his new flag." 

He left behind him a reputation for eccentricity, but 
seems to have been decidedly popular, and was constantly 



HIS ANCESTRY. 21 

in civil office. For at least five years he represented Ar- 
lington in the General Assembly, and for three years he was 
a member of the Governor's Council, a body of twelve men, 
which, under the old colonial constitution, took the place of 
the Senate. At the time of his withdrawal from public life 
he was on the point of being elected governor. Many years 
afterward a friend of his wrote to his son : 

"Your father had many natural and moral excellences; 
but, like myself, was a very imperfect man. His principal 
foible, if I mistake not, was too strong a thirst for promo- 
tion in civil office. Yet I never knew him lower the digni- 
ty of his character, or resort to dishonorable means, in pur- 
suit of his object. He was too much alive to popular fa- 
vor, it must be confessed ; yet he was frank, open, and unre- 
served : what he felt, he felt strongly; and what he felt, he 
spoke without disguise. He was a discerning judge of char- 
acter, and, while ardent in his attachments, his prejudices 
were as the bars of a castle. Your father, sir, possessed a 
bright natural genius, and had it been cultivated by a clas- 
sical education, he would doubtless have held an eminent 
rank as a scientific character. In his profession he stood 
high, was respected and useful ; his natural disposition was 
in a high degree social, his sensibility keen ; he was all 
nerve ; his spirits volatile, easily elevated or depressed ; his 
heart was afiectionate, and vibrated in unison with the notes 
of friendship. He tenderly sympathized M'ith the afflicted 
and distressed, was faithful in his attention to the sick, 
and often served the poor without fee or reward. His un- 
derstanding was informed by reading and observation ; his 
imagination vivid, his memory tenacious, his mind stored 
with images which he could call in to the aid of glowing 
description, in which he delighted. He had a taste for the 
belles-lettres, wrote in a very pretty style, and often acquit- 
ted himself handsomely in a public oration." 

To this the son replied : 

"Accept, dear sir, my gratitude for your kindness in writ- 
ing. Few know the feelings of an orphan when he finds one 
who is willing to say, ' Your father was my friend.' The pic- 
ture you drew of my father's character very nearly resem- 
bled the one my imagination had painted; and in reading 
your letter, I can discover many traits of my own character." 



22 JOHX TODD. 

A few months before his hist child was born, the doctor 
moved from Arlington to Rutland, which was then becom- 
ing a more important place. Here he secured for himself a 
home, and at once established himself in practice. But he 
had hardh^ done so, Avhen an event occurred which at once 
overturned all his plans. A rich man in West Rutland, who 
had been taken very sick, sent his carriage in great haste 
for the doctor and for his lawyer. The two gentlemen were 
seated together, and were going down the mountain about 
five miles from home, when some part of the harness gave 
way, and the horses became unmanageable and ran, and 
the carriage was overturned and broken. Perceiving that 
it was going over, the doctor called to his companion, who 
was on the upper side, to jump out; but he, in his terror, 
delayed so long that there was time for but one to escape. 
Doctor Todd was caught; and the consequence is thus 
stated by himself: "My left leg was fractured and dislo- 
cated in a most shocking manner; the bones were forced 
through the integuments, and dragged four rods, grinding 
the earth, and broken into innumerable fragments." Terri- 
ble as this injury was, the doctor was wholly unconscious 
of it till his attention was called to it by his horror-stricken 
friend. The lawyer immediately hurried for assistance; 
but the country was thinly settled, and two or three hours 
elapsed before his return. In the mean time the wounded 
man crawled to a rock by the side of a run of water, in 
which he laved the wounds, and cleansed them from the 
clotted blood and the fragments of his stocking which had 
been impelled into them ; and, taking his instruments from 
his pocket, with astonishing fortitude proceeded to take up 
a principal blood-vessel. When found by his friends, he 
was discovered with a pencil in his hand, with which he had 
just concluded writing. 

Of this writing, the doctor thus speaks: "I sincerely of- 
fered the following ejaculation to the Father of mercies and 
God of all comfort, and afterward put it in metre" (proba- 
bly seeking with this mental occupation to distract his at- 
tention from his pain), "that in case I should not survive 
my wounds, as there appeared no hope, my children and 
friends might know the sensations which then possessed me. 

"'Great God, the day of thy power is dreadful indeed! 



HIS ANCESTEY. 23 

Thy frown is death, and the blasts of thy nostrils crush us 
forever. Behold me in this hour of distress, through the 
sufferings of thy Son ; then shall mercy beam upon me, and 
open the gates of eternal day. I feel thy power; I own thv 
justice; and believe in thy word. Whatever fails, suffer 
me, O God, even if thou slayest me, still to trust in thee !'" 

" You will judge," exclaimed his son, sixty years after- 
ward, "of the character that could in those circumstances 
write that prayer." 

Help at last arrived. A bier was brought from the grave- 
yard, and covered with feather-beds, and the unfortunate 
man was tenderly laid on it, and carried on men's shoulders 
to his home. The physicians who were summoned replaced 
the bones as well as they could, although he implored them 
to resort to amputation ; and the result was, that eventually 
the limb was restored, so that the doctor could use it again 
without even a cane, and with very little halt in his gait; 
but this was only after much suffering and long use of 
crutches. He was confined to his bed for months. 

For many years previous to this, ever since the birth of 
her oldest boy, the doctor's wife had suffered from ill health, 
which partially affected her mind. At the time of the acci- 
dent, " she was sick ; and the tidings came suddenly to her, 
'The doctor is killed^ and they are bringing him home on a 
bier.' The blow fell upon one almost crushed by sickness. 
It destroyed her reason ; and though she lived many years, 
she never recovered it." 

It was in such circumstances as these, the father lying a 
helpless cripple, and the mother a hopeless lunatic, that on 
the 9th of October, 1800, "a man-child was born" into the 
world. They gave him the name which has been borne by 
some one in the family in every generation, Johx Todd. 



24 JOHN TODD. 



CHAPTER n. 

HIS INFAl^^CT. 

The unwelcome Babe. — The Indian Doctor. — Tamar and Prim. — Massa 
Doctor's Dinner. — The Return to Connecticut. — Lost Lands. — 'IttleDaw. 
— The First Home.— Poverty.— A Potato-digging. — The Sunset Lesson.— 
The naked Sword.— Family Prayers.— The sick Doctor.— A Lie.— Last 
Words.— A Child's Remorse. — The Wido-w's Moan.— Borrowed Shoes.— 
The Village Grave-yard. — The poor Orphan and the old Pastor. — The dark 
Messenger. 

" XoT long before his death, his youngest child was born, 
a scrawny, puny babe, weighing five or six pounds. The 
mother was worn out, and was apparently to be left poor, 
friendless, and alone, with her great family of little ones. 
But — that baby! Every one said, 'What a mercy if that 
child should die ! What can she do with it? What a bless- 
ing if it should die !' The poor mother almost thought so 
too. But the unwelcome babe would not die. He made a 
struggle for life, and won the battle." 

Meantime the poor father had begun to creep up again. 
The day drew near for the meeting of the Governor's Coun- 
cil, and he was so desirous of being in his place that he con- 
trived to journey to Montpelier, taking with him his oldest 
little boy, William, to wait upon him. There were at that 
time a number of Indian tribes in Vermont receiving annui- 
ties from the Government, and some of them had sent repre- 
sentatives to present their claims to the council. Among 
these was an old chief who, in the prosecution of his suit, 
visited Doctor Todd at his lodging to solicit his influence, 
and happened to call when he was dressing his wound. 
"Ah !" exclaimed the old Indian, "him velly bad! Indian 
do him good." He went away immediately, and after a 
time returned with some leaves of a plant called " tory 
weed," and told the doctor to apply them to the wound, 
using fresh ones every day, and, when the leaves were gone, 
to make a decoction of the root. The learned physician fol- 



HIS INFANCY. 25 

lowed the prescription of his savage professional brother, 
and the inflammation then first began to abate. 

It soon became evident to the doctor, however, that he 
could no longer work as formerly. His health was broken, 
his business injured by his enforced neglect of it, his de- 
ranged wife unable to care for his large family. In these 
circumstances he determined to return to the land of his 
kindred. He first made a preliminary trip in company with 
a friend, for the purpose of making arrangements for the re- 
moval of his family. Their route lay through Branford, and 
past a small cabin where two of the servants of his uncle, 
the old minister, were then living — Tamar, who had often 
cari-ied the doctor in her arms when he was a child, and 
Prim, her husband. They stopped at the door, and sent in 
word by a little boy that Doctor Todd had come. The mo- 
ment that Tamar heard the name she came rushing out, and, 
climbing into the carriage, took up the doctor, crutches and 
all, and carried him into the house as if he had been a cliild 
as of old, and she a strong young nurse, instead of an old 
woman of more than seventy years. Having placed him in 
a chair, she began to dance and caper about him, weeping 
and lauo-hino' at the same time, and makino; the most ex- 

O O 7 3 

travagant demonstrations of joy. In the midst of it she dis- 
patched the little boy to the field to call Prim, and at the 
news he came running as fast as his old legs could carry 
him, and joined his wife in her demonstrations with hardly 
inferior zeal. It was with difliculty that the doctor could 
call their attention to his neglected friend, who stood laugh- 
ing by. On perceiving him, they were profuse in humble 
apologies. They insisted that their guests should remain to 
dine, and prepared as royal a dinner as they could. The 
doctor often declared that he had never sat down to a bet- 
ter. The guests tried to prevail upon their hosts to sit 
down with them at their own table ; but it was of no use ; 
they had never been brought up to do so, and preferred to 
wait on " massa doctor." Such power had the doctor to 
win the affection of all around him. When he was no 
more, poor Tamar wept bitterly, often complaining that her 
friends were all gone. 

Having made the necessary arrangements. Doctor Todd 
returned for his family, and took them down to East Guil- 



26 JOHN TODD. 

ford, carrying little John in his own arms all the way. He 
did not, however, yet abandon the idea of living in Vernnont. 
Having partially recovered his strength, he went by sea to 
Boston, where he purchased a stock of medicines, paints, and 
dyes, thinking that the lameness which disabled him as a 
practicing physician would still permit him to keep a drug- 
store. From Boston he went to St. Albans, the town which 
he had selected as his home, and there he purchased a house 
and lot. But just at this time he was seized with a terrible 
sickness, and lay for months at the house of his younger 
brother, John, suffering fearfully, and requiring " two watch- 
ers every night for a hundred and twenty-six nights." As 
soon as he had recovered sufficiently to attempt it, he jour- 
neyed by easy stages down to East Guilford and rejoined 
his family. He now determined to abandon Vermont as a 
place of residence, convinced that its " pestiferous air, the 
effluvia of its lakes and creeks, would destroy'' him^ Going 
to Boston once more, he disposed of his medicines satisfac- 
toril}'^ ; and thence going to St. Albans again, he tried to dis- 
pose of his property there. Having waited three weeks in 
vain, and finding his health again giving way, he threw a 
few movables into his carriage, left his property for his broth- 
er to dispose of, and hastened from the State. Many years 
after this, his son, visiting this younger brother of his father, 
wrote : 

" It seems that when my father left Vermont, he got John 
to sell his property. For this he took notes instead of mon- 
ey. These notes were put into the hands of lawyers to col- 
lect, for which notes they gave him receipts. They collected 
the money, and have it yet ! He has put into my hands 
such receipts of lawyers to the amount of thirteen hundred 
dollars. He seems to insist upon my taking these vouchers, 
though I have no thought of ever trying to find the men. 
He says, also, that my father purchased for each of his seven 
children a lot of one hundred and twenty acres, on Lake 
Memphremagog. This was all paid for, but no deed was 
ever sent. . I think of carting it down, and putting it with 
the land in Missouri which I bought of Doctor ." 

With the remnant of his property Doctor Todd purchased 
" a pleasant and beautiful house and lot" in Killingworth, 
in the immediate neisrhborhood of all his own and his wife's 



HIS INFANCY. 27 

relatives ; and here the mind of " 'ittle Daw," as he called 
himself, began to unfold. "The first thing I remember is, 
living in a two-story peach-blow colored house in Killing- 
worth." On visiting the place in after -years, he wrote: 
"My walk was up a well-known avenue, on the banks of a 
beautiful pond. Here I found that a grove, once grand and 
charming, and where the woodland songsters had often be- 
guiled many an hour made melancholy by grief occasioned 
by the loss of friends, had fallen by the axe, to make room 
for several rows of insignificant poplars. On arriving at the 
house endeared to me by the tenderest recollections, my feel- 
ings were indescribable. My memory was crowded with the 
past before I entered. The garden where my father had led 
me when a child, and pointed out the beauties of each flow- 
eret ; the yard where in innocency we sported, ere I, my 
brothers, and sisters were scattered ; the willow under whose 
shade my mother taught me my letters — these all were be- 
fore me." 

The doctor's object in settling in Killingworth was " the 
practice of physic and surgery." "Whether," he writes, "I 
shall enjoy ray health here, God will determine. I submit 
my cause to him, and humbly hope in his mercy. It appears 
to me his providence has wanted me to seek a residence be- 
neath a milder sky than the stagnant pools of Vermont." 
Meantime he looks forward with hopefulness, and playfully 
urges an old friend to make him a visit. " We can enter- 
tain you ; we can give you marine diet ; we can show you 
the grandest scenes in nature, the ebbing and flowing of the 
tide, and many other things which speak the wisdom and 
power of God." 

But these hopes were disappointed. The doctor's health 
became more and more feeble ; he was scarcely able to prac- 
tice at all ; and as he had saved but little from the wreck of 
his fortunes in Vermont, his large young family began to be 
in want, and the clouds of poverty, sickness, and distress, 
settled down lower and lower upon them. 

" My father was very fond of a garden, and, though ho 
was so lame, he always managed to have a good one. One 
year he had about an acre of ground in potatoes ; and when 
it came autumn, he found he could not dig them himself, and 
so he encouraged me to see what I could do. I dug, that 



28 JOHN TODD. 

season, ten bushels of potatoes myself. I was a little fellow, 
in a green flannel petticoat and some kind of sack, and did 
not wear pantaloons till the next year. It was often re- 
marked afterward, when any thing was said about my going 
to college, that it was ' a pity to spoil such a good boy for 
work.' " 

Of a mother's love and influence he was, from the first, al- 
most totally deprived. Besides her teaching him his letters, 
already referred to, he seems to have had but one important 
recollection of her. 

" I can truly say I have never met with any loss so great 
as that of losing the care and instructions of my mother 
during my childhood, in consequence of her having lost her 
reason. But I can recollect that when a very little child 
I was standing at the open window, at the close of a lovely 
summer's day. The large red sun was just sinking away 
behind the western hills ; the sky was gold and purple com- 
mingled ; the winds were sleeping, and a soft, solemn still- 
ness seemed to hang over the earth. I was watching the 
sun as he sent his yellow rays through the trees, and felt a 
kind of awe, though I knew not wherefore. Just then my 
mother came to me. She was raving with frenzy, for reason 
had long since left its throne, and her a victim of madness. 
She came up to me, wild with insanity. I pointed to the 
glorious sun in the west, and in a moment she was calm. 
She took my little hands within hers, and told me that ' the 
great God made the sun, the stars, the world, every thing; 
that he it was Avho made her little boy, and gave him an 
immortal spirit; that yonder sun, and the green fields, and 
the world itself, will one day be burned up, but that the 
spirit of her child will then be alive, for he must live when 
heaven and earth are gone ; that he must pray to the great 
God, and love and serve him forever.' She let go my hands 
— madness returned — she hurried away. I stood with my 
eyes filled with tears, and my little bosom heaving with 
emotions which I could not have described ; but I can never 
forget the impressions which that conversation of my poor 
mother left upon me ! Oh, what a blessing would it have 
been, had the inscrutable providence of God given me a 
mother who could have repeated these instructions, accom- 
panied by her prayers, through all the days of my child- 



HIS INFANCY. 29 

hood! But — 'Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in 
thy sight.' " 

His mother's paroxysms seem to have been at times real- 
ly dangerous. 

"At one time my poor mother obtained a naked sword, 
and ran toward me to give the fatal thrust, when an unseen 
hand seemed to seize her arm, and the point of the sword 
stopped within a few inches of my breast." 

Of his father he preserved but few distinct recollections. 

"I had one of the kindest and best of fathers: he used to 
carry me to school before him on his horse, to help me in 
my little plans, and always tried to make me happy; and 
he never seemed so happy himself as when making me hap- 
py. I can remember that he used to attend family praj^ers, 
especially for the last six months of his life. My sister 
Elizabeth used to read a chapter in the Bible, his eyes being 
weak. I have but a very confused remembrance of his man- 
ner of praying." But though his recollections of his father 
were indistinct, he must have received deep impressions of 
his father's tenderness and goodness; for he always spoke 
and wrote of him with the greatest affection, for years often 
visited and wept at his grave, and in the last hours of life 
arranged for the erection of a new and worthier monument 
to stand over his dust. 

" When I was about six years old my father was taken sick, 
and after a time died. He visited my Aunt Matilda the day 
before he was taken sick, and told her that this was the last 
visit he should ever make her. What made him think so, I 
know not ; but his prediction proved true. The next day he 
came home very sick. My mother, too, was sick ; and thus 
nobody but my two sisters could take care of my father. In 
a few^ days he was worse, very sick, and all the physicians 
in the district were called in to see him. The next Sabbath 
morning, early, he was evidently much worse. As I went 
into the room, he stretched out his hand to me, and said, 
'My little boy, I am very sick. I wish you to take that 
paper on the stand, and run down to Mr. Carter's, and get 
me the medicine written on that paper.' I took the paper, 
and went to the apothecary's shop, as I had often done be- 
fore. It was about half a mile off; but when I got there I 
found it shut; and as Mr. Carter lived a quarter of a mile 



30 JOHN TODD. 

farther off, I concluded not to go to find him. I then set 
out for home. On my way back I contrived what to say. 
I knew how wicked it was to tell a lie, but one sin always 
leads to another. On going in to my father, I saw that he 
was in great pain ; and though he was pale and weak, I 
could see great drops of sweat standing on his forehead, 
forced out by pain. Oh, then I was sorry I had not gone 
and found the apothecary ! At length he said to me, ' My 
son has got the medicine, I hope, for I am in great pain.' 
I hung my head and muttered, for my conscience smote 
me, 'No, sir; Mr. Carter says he has got none.' *Has got 
none? Is this possible?' He then cast a keen eye upon 
me, and seeing my head hang, and probably suspecting my 
falsehood, said, in the mildest, kindest tone, 'My little boy 
will see his father suffer great pain for the want of that med- 
icine.' I went out of the room, and, alone, I cried. I was 
soon called back. My brothers had come, and were stand- 
ing — all the children were standing— round the bed, and he 
was committing my poor mother to their care, and giving 
them his last advice. He took my brother William affea- 
tionately by the hand, and, with a voice that drew tears 
from all eyes present, except his own, thus addressed him : 
'My dear son, I am now going to die, and in a short time I 
shall be laid in the cold grave. I leave seven fatherless 
children; the family will look up to you. You must be a 
father to them all, and a husband to your poor mother. Be 
a good boy, my child, and do all you can for your mother, 
brothers, and sisters. Above all, make God your friend, and 
prepare to serve him here, and to enjoy him hereafter.' He 
said much more to my brother, but as I was very young I 
can not remember the remainder. These words, however, 
made such an impression upon me, that time never has, and 
never can efface them from my memory. He then called 
me to his bedside, who was the youngest of all his children, 
and thus addressed me : ' John, my dear, come and see your 
poor papa once more. I shall not live long ; your papa is 
now going to die ; in a few days you will see them bury 
him in the ground, and you will not have your papa any 
more. Oh, if you had a mother who could take care of you, 
I should leave you in peace ! But why should I not now ? 
That God Avho feeds the young birds when they cry, who 



HIS INFANCY. 31 

shelters the young lamb from the storm, who wraps the poor 
worm up in a leaf, will surely take care of you, my own dear 
boy. Never forget, after I am gone, that you have a better 
Father in heaven. Ask him to take care of you ; pray to 
hito to be your father and make you good, for Jesus Christ's 
sake. Love him, obey him, and always do right, and speak 
the truth^ because the eye of God is always upon you. Give 
your father one more kiss, John; and now, farewell.' And 
then he laid his hand on ray head again, and prayed for the 
blessing of God the Redeemer to rest upon me, ' soon to be 
a fatherless orphan.' I dared not look at him, I felt so guilty. 
Sobbing, I rushed from his bedside, and thought I wished 
I could die. They soon told me he could not speak. Oh, 
how much would I have given to go in and tell him that 
I had told a lie, and ask him once more to lay his hand on 
my head and forgive me ! I crept in once more, and heard 
the minister pray for ' the dying man.' Oh, how my heart 
ached ! I snatched my hat, and ran to the apothecary's 
house, and got the medicine. I ran home with all my might, 
and ran in, and ran up to my father's bedside to confess my 
sin, crying out, ' Oh, here, father !' but I was hushed ; and 
then I saw that he was pale, and that all in the room were 
weeping. My dear father was dead ! And the last thing 
that I ever spoke to him was to tell a lie ! I sobbed as if 
my heart would break. 

" The poor widow sat aside from the rest of the mourners, 
for her sorrow had no communion with theirs. She uttered 
a kind of deep moan, talking continually about the steep 
mountain side, and apprehending that ' the doctor would 
be thrown from his carriage before reaching home.' And 
then she would go to the windoAV, and look out as she used 
to do, and complain that the mountain road was so dark 
that she could not see it. 

"The next day the children were in the room, planning 
with a neighbor about the funeral. They could all appear 
decent except myself: I had no shoes. A poor widow, half 
a mile off, offered to lend me her little boy's for that occa- 
sion, glad to do even a little for the family of one who had 
often been with her in the hour of trouble and distress. 
They gladly availed themselves of the offer, and I followed 
my father to the grave in a pair of borrowed shoes. 



32 JOHN TODD. 

"It was early in December, cold, but no snow on the 
ground. The sad afternoon came, and I sat down in my 
borrowed shoes, wondering at all that took place. The peo- 
ple gathered till the house was full. All the men in the vil- 
lage whom I had looked upon as wonderful men were thete. 
I wondered why they did not all feel as bad, and cry, as my 
mother did; what the minister meant by praying so much 
about orphans ; and what I should do without any father. 
And when the coffin was placed on the bier, and the men 
lifted it up on their shoulders, I wondered if it was not very 
heavy ; and when the lawyer put his shoulder nnder, I 
wished none but lawyers might carry my father to the 
grave. The bell tolled slow and loud as they moved down 
the street, and I thought it never sounded so solemn before. 
When they got to the grave, dug close to the great oak- 
tree, I wondered why none but doctors let down the coffin, 
and how they could do it so gently and so carefully. When 
they had filled up the grave, and covered all out of sight, I 
wondered if my poor father would not feel cold and dreary 
in that dark grave alone. 

" So the funeral was over, and all left the grave without 
saying a single word. In the evening I carried home the 
bori'owed shoes, and told the poor woman all about the fu- 
neral, not without bursts of tears, and thanked her for the 
shoes. ' John,' said she, in the kindest tones she could com- 
mand, 'John, you have no father now. Your poor mother 
can't take care of you children. You must, I see, break up 
and be scattered. You can't live together any longer. Oh, 
don't cry ! I don't want to make you cry, but want to say 
that God will take care of you, and be a father to you.' 
'The very words that my poor father said to me,' I sobbed. 
'Well, your father knew what he was saying. He was a 
praying man, and has done so much for the poor, that, though 
he died very, very poor, God won't let his children suffer. 
It is better than gold, John, to have prayers laid up in 
heaven for you. And now I have only to say, be a good 
boy, and you will make a good man. By "good boy" I mean, 
never tell a lie on any occasion ; never steal the least or the 
greatest thing, not even a pin; never swear or use bad 
words ; keep away from bad boys ; be gentle and kind to 
your mother; and never forget to say your prayers. Can 



HIS IXFANCY. 33 

you promise all this ?' ' I will do it all as you say,' I replied. 
' Very well ; now, take this piece of gingerbread, and good- 
night; and may God bless you.' This was many, many 
years ago ; but I never forgot the impressions of that fu- 
neral, and of the borrowed shoes. The poor woman has 
been dead a very long time. Perhaps hardly one lives who 
remembers her. But the words that she dropped live ; and 
nobody can tell how much they had to do in the forming of 
the character of a minister of Christ. 

"A few days after the funeral the cliildren were sitting- 
together, planning how they might procure a pair of shoes 
for little John. At length it occurred to them that their fa- 
ther might have a demand against some honest shoe-maker 
to an amount that would procure the shoes. At once they 
fell to conning over his day-book, and, to their great joy, 
soon found a demand sufficiently large. The shoes were 
procured, and I borrowed no more. 

"One pleasant day not long after this, just at evening, Doc- 
tor Mansfield, the pastor of Killingworth, was taking his us- 
ual walk, after spending the day in study. He was a good 
old man, and had long been faithful to the beloved people 
of his charge. The sun was pouring his last rays into the 
golden sky, as he entered the village grave-yard. When he 
came to the spot where lay his wife and three beautiful 
daughters, he leaned on his staff, and bent over these graves, 
and was just marking out by their side the spot where he 
hoped shortly to lie in peace, when he was startled by hear- 
ing the sobs of a child. He turned, and at a little distance 
beheld the little white-headed John, who was kneeling and 
sobbing over the grave of his father. With a melting heart 
the good shepherd approached the child of his friend, and 
with the tenderness of a father he raised and kissed this or- 
phan lamb of his flock, and sat down beside the grave, and 
pressed the weeping boy to his bosom. ' Oh, sir !' said the 
child, ' let me cry for my father : he lies deep in that grave ; 
they tell me he will never again be ray father; I fear that I 
have offended him, that he will no more be my father, and I 
want to ask him to forgive me, and to kiss me as he used to 
do. Oh, if he Avould once more be my father, I would never 
again offend him ! But they say he is dead. Oh, I would sit 
here and cry all night, I would never stop, if my poor father 

3 



34 JOHN TODD, 

would come to me ! But he will not come; for a few days 
before they put him into this hole he told me that he was 
going to leave me, and that I should never have a father 
any more ; and he stroked my hair with his sick hand, and 
told me that when he was buried in the ground I must be a 
good boy, and love God. Oh, my poor, good father !' 

" The feeling pastor pressed the hand of the sorrowing 
child within his ; and ere he could answer him he had wet 
with his tears the silken hair of the orphan. His first object 
was to soothe him into confidence, and then to direct him 
to a Father who would never forsake him. With patience 
he satisfied his curiosity respecting death, how it is a long 
sleep, but that the voice of God will one day awake even 
the dead. He told him how death was introduced into the 
world, and made him understand that it was the consequence 
of sin. He explained to him the natural depravity of the 
heart, how ' we, like sheep, have all gone astray.' He la- 
bored to impress upon him a correct view of the character 
of God, his attributes of love, mercy, justice, etc., and then 
explained how we might be saved by Jesus Christ. He 
next strove deeply to impress upon the listening boy what 
is ' the chief end of man,' and thus concluded, while his lit- 
tle hearer seemed to hang upon his lips: 'And now, my dear 
little boy, you have indeed lost a tender father ; but I have 
been trying to point you to a Father who has promised 
never to forsake the poor orphan.' 'But,' said the child, 
'what is it to be an orphan?' 'It is to be left destitute of 
parents while we are yet children.' ' Oh yes, but what is 
a poor orphan ?' The clergyman was aifected, but replied, 
'It is a child who is left destitute of property as well as 
parents.' ' Oh ! I wish,' said the child, in the simplicity of 
his heart, 'I wish that I were a poor orphan, if God would 
be my father.' The good minister wept; for he knew that 
the child's wish respecting property would be fully satisfied. 
' I trust, my dear child, that God will be your father. You 
know how short are our lives, how certain our death, how 
much we have to do to prepare for death, and how we 
should devote our lives to God, that we may meet death 
with peace. I hope you will not only be good, and live so 
as to meet your poor father in heaven, but I hope your life 
will be spent in trying to do good to others,' The clergy- 



HIS INFAXCY. 35 

man held the hand of the child, and they knelt in prayer on 
the grave. The petition was that God would provide for 
tlie little orphan. He led the child to his j3lace of residence, 
soothed his grief, and determined to adopt and make him 
his child. But God ordered otherwise. The faithful pastor 
was soon after laid upon the bed of death, and left the child 
the second time an orphan. He passed through many trials, 
but was ever protected by the tender mercy of God. At 
the age of sixteen he believed that he experienced the opera- 
tions of the Spirit of God upon his heart. He thought of 
this interview with the good clergyman, and of his advice, 
his prayers, and his wishes ; and he dedicated his life to the 
service of God." 

Upon the death of Doctor Todd his family was necessari- 
ly broken up and scattered. Little John found a home with 
his father's youngest sister, Matilda, who had married John 
Hamilton, of Xorth Killingworth. How he was taken to 
her house is related in the following letter, written thirty- 
five years later, when she who had all her lifetime been sub- 
ject to the bondage of a peculiar fear of death was drawing 
near the dark passage : 

" Mt dear Aunt, — I am sorry to hear that you are fee- 
ble, perhaps I should say sick, and even that there is fear on 
your part that you are not to be better in this world. I am 
afraid that I shall make but a poor comforter in these cir- 
cumstances, and yet I know there are waters enough in the 
wells of salvation, if I only knew how to draw them up. 
You send me word that you would be glad to see me, and, 
if possible, I shall come; but I am so situated by sicknesses 
that it may not be in my power. You also tell me that 
your life looks barren and dreary, and that you tremble at 
the coming of death. I am not going to try to cheer you 
by telling what you have done for the Master during your 
past life. But I want you to recall one circumstance, for 
the sake of illustrating what I want to say. 

" You remember that it is now thirty-five years since my 
father died, and left me, a little boy six years old, without a 
mother, without a home, and with nobody to care for me. 
It was then that you sent word that you would take me 
and give me a home, and be as a mother to me. Every body 



36 JOHN TODD. 

said, * It's very kind in her to do that.' But I was too young 
to realize any thing of that nature. It seemed to me a per- 
fectly natural thing that you should do so. I wondered what 
kind of a house you lived in, and whether you had chickens 
and hens. At length the day was set when I was to go to 
you, ten miles off. What a long journey it seemed to me! 
And I well remember how disappointed I was that, instead 
of coming for me yourself, you sent old Caesar, the great, fat, 
black man, to bring me to you. How my heart sunk within 
me when he came, and I was told that I was to ride on the 
horse behind him, sitting on the blanket ! But he told me 
that ' old Kate was very gentle to little boys,' and that you 
said I might bring Echo, my little dog, with me. So we set 
out, just before night. Caesar took my bundle of clothing 
before him, and me behind him, and Echo ran beside us. But 
before long, before we got to your house, I began to feel 
tired. My legs ached, and I was tired of taking hold of 
Caesar. By-and-by the evening and the darkness came on, 
and I felt afraid ; then we had a long piece of woods to go 
through. I had heard of bears and tigers and Indians, and 
did not know how many might be in the woods. Caesar, too, 
was so dark that I could not see him, and he jogged on with- 
out saying a word. He had no idea that I was afraid. 

" ' Caesar, ain't we most there ?' said I, in my terror. 

" ' Yes, when we have got through these woods we shall 
see the candle in the house.' 

" ' Won't they be gone to bed ?' for it seemed to me it 
must be nearly morning. 

" ' Oh no, they will be all ready to receive us.' 

"But I trembled, and the tears ran down my face, and I 
wondered why I could not have somebody with me besides 
black Caesar. 

" But at last, after winding and turning, and going uphill 
and downhill, a long, long way, as it seemed to me, we came 
out of the woods, and then the stars shone ; and I was told 
which light was in your house. And when we got there you 
came out, and gently took me in your arms as Caesar handed 
me down ; and you called me your ' poor little boy,' and you 
led me gently in; and there was the blazing, warm fire, the 
bright light, and the table spread, and the supper all waiting 
for me ! And that was my home ! My eyes now fill with 



HIS INFANCY. 37 

tears as I think it over. How you soothed me, and warmed 
me, and put me to bed in the strange room, and heard me 
say my prayers, and staid with me till I was fast asleep ! 

" And now, my dear aunt, yon see why I have recalled all 
this to your memory. Your heavenly Father will send for 
you — a dark messenger, it may be. And he will be your 
conductor, and carry you safely through the darkness of the 
way. He will not drop nor leave you, for he is a faithful 
servant. You need not feel afraid, for he knows the way, 
and will take you directly to your home. There the door 
will be open, and your dearest friend, the Lord Jesus Christ, 
will meet you and take you in, and the supper will be wait- 
ing, and the fires of love burning, and the light and glory of 
his presence all seen. What a welcome you will receive ! 
And, perhaps, the memory of what you did for me will come 
back upon you, bringing waves of pure joy. At any rate, 
don't fear the dark passage, nor the dark messenger. Re- 
ceive it all as the little child did, and you will find the home. 
My prayers will be for you till you are out of sight, and 
then I will look forward to meeting you again. 
"Ever, ever yours, most gratefully, 

"John Todd." 



\ 



38 JOHN TODD. 



CHAPTER HI. 

HIS CHILDHOOD. 

North Killingworth. — The Skipper's Wife. — Tim's youngest Boy. — Primitive 
Times. — An old Church. — Birthplaces. — The first Hat. — Death of Echo. — 
The murdered Phebe. — The kind Uncle. — A Brave old Man. — Near the 
College. — The long Fish-pole. — The old Eagle-tree. — Madison. — Near the 
Sea. — The old Duck-gun. — White Stones. — Changes. — The old House. — 
Three great Men.— Forth Afoot. 

" In the State of Connecticut, eiojht or ten miles from Lono' 
Island Sound, and parallel with it, there runs through the 
State, east and west, a high ridge of stony, hilly, and broken 
ground. It is so rocky and uneven that but a small part of 
it can bC' cultivated. The rest grows to wood. Hence, be- 
ginning west, we have Ridgefield, North Fairfield, North Ha- 
ven, North Branford, North Guilford, North Madison, North 
Killingworth, etc. These little towns occupy this ridge. The 
people who inhabit them are not rich, but are industrious, 
honest, sober, and, as I think, the most primitive people in 
New England. They are, however, shrewd, well-educated, 
and, if the civilization of our day has not carried the highest 
fashions and follies among them, barbarism, certainly, is no 
part of their inheritance. 

" When I was a child, I lived among this people from the 
age of six to that of twelve. This was in North Killing- 
worth, before Clinton, the south part of the town, was set off 
a town by itself." 

His aunt, Matilda Hamilton, " lived in a very humble dwell- 
ing. She was naturally of a cheerful disposition. She put 
the best face on every thing, was well-educated and lady- 
like. Moreover, she was a humble Christian. She was the 
wife of a skipper, or captain, an honest, good-hearted half- 
farmer and half-sailor, who in general treated me with kind- 
ness, but who, from defects in his own education, and from a 
want of self-government, was no desirable example for such 
a child to copy. He never prospered in the world, and dur- 
ing his voyages, his family had a poor, hard life. When the 



HIS CHILDHOOD. 39 

woman's ability to manage her little farm of twenty acres 
of rough, stony ground failed, she would send John to the 
neighbors to ask a little help in planting or harvesting. 

"Ah, I do remember it all ! I long to go there and see 
if the red house is there; if the willow-tree which I tugged 
up from old Mr. Hamilton's, and which uncle and I set out, 
is still standing; whether the orchard looks as it used to, 
and the 'coal-pit lot,' and the ' maple sugar-tree lot.' I want 
to go there and look toward Uncle Abner's and Mr. Jerry 
Hull's, and cry, as I used to do when you were gone away 
and I stood out by the gate, watching and crying for your 
return ! That spot ! Others may fade from my memory, 
but every inch of ground from 'Parker's Hill' over to the 
' East School-house,' and even down to ' the cove,' will re- 
main. I have forgotten nothing ; and I hope God will yet 
give me the power to show you that I am grateful for your 
care of a poor orphan, even 'Tim's youngest boy.' 

"As I rode up, a few days ago, through the lonely, wild 
hills, covered with bushes and trees, and the glories of early 
summer, every thing seemed to look just as I left it fifty- 
eight years ago. The wild profusion of azaleas, which made 
the woods blush with beauty and the air to be rich in per- 
fumes; the thrush which hung upon the very top of the 
tree, and poured out his notes so full and rich — the mocking- 
bird of the North; the mountain laurel, just beginning to 
open its beautiful pink corrugated blossoms ; the little nerv- 
ous wren, chatting and twisting himself every moment — 
why, they seemed the very flowers and birds that I saw and 
heard sixty years ago ! The hills and ravines, and the little 
brooks — just as I left them, and just as they will look sixty 
years hence ! The fleecy clouds that lazily hung overhead, 
the dim outlines of the Sound, where the sky and the water 
met and blended together, and Long Island, like a dark rib- 
bon lying beyond the water, and the dim haze through 
which the vessels, like little specks on the face of a mirror, 
were seen — all looked just as they did in the eyes of my 
childhood. I never saw, in those six years, but one four- 
wheeled carriage, a huge, lumbering sort of hack, which a 
well-to-do farmer procured in order to carry his family to 
meeting, a marvel to us boys. The ox-cart was the only 
vehicle, save the ox-sled in winter. The people were scat- 



40 JOHN TODD. 

tered far and wide among the little glens, and rode to meet- 
ing, man and wife, brother and sister, on saddle and pillion, 
when they did not walk, which was the lot of all youth and 
children. The young ladies used to wear their every -day 
shoes and stockings till within a short distance of the meet- 
ing-house, when they would take them off, thrust them into 
the stone-wall, and put on their best. Those laid up were 
never molested. I never saw lock or bolt on a house, and 
never knew a door fastened at night. 

"The old square, barn-looking meeting-house, standing on 
the ledges, on their very brink, with 'Bear Swamp' lying 
at their feet — how shall I describe it ? It had a door on 
the west, and another on the south, with underpinning and 
door-steps all of stone, but all awry. There was a great 
hole in the underpinning, into which we boys used to thrust 
our heads, almost expecting to see the eyes of the last bear 
from *Bear Swamp.' The house was fifty-eight feet long by 
thirty-eight wide, originally of a kind of peach-blow color, 
but the blossoms seemed all to have been pressed together, 
till no shade of color could know itself The pews were 
square boxes, and the house had originally been 'dignified' 
by an able committee, and ever after every body knew which 
pews were aristocratic and which plebeian. Once a year 
the families were all seated anew by a committee, and if 
there were not heart-burnings when a family was thrust into 
a pew higher or lower than was right and proper, then hu- 
man nature must have been in an abnormal state. In the 
middle of the north side was the pulpit, and the deacons' 
seat beneath it. Over the minister's l)ead hung a 'sound- 
ing-board,' and great were our childish fears lest the iron 
rod on which it hung should break, and let it fall on the 
minister's head. Just over the road, on the west, was a lit- 
tle green spot where ' the trainers ' used to parade on 
'training-day,' a most magnificent spectacle! one fife and 
drum, and a company of men transmuted into soldiers. 
Near by were a number of rough, stone-built ' Sabba'-day 
houses,' where the people flocked at noon, for warmth in 
winter (they had chimneys), and coolness in summer. Here 
they ate their simple pocket-inclosed lunch, told and heard 
the news, and, I suspect, gossiped somewhat. In those days 
tliere were no Sabbath -schools, and at noon the children 



HIS CHILDHOOD. 41 

were drawn up in front of the deacons' seat, and ' catechised,' 
that is, repeated the 'Assembly's Catechism ' to good Dea- 
con Pierson ; and great was our joy when we received the 
good man's smile of approbation. But was not this a hard- 
ship ? Not at all ; we enjoyed it. But was that old cate- 
chism dry ? \Ye never thought of it in that light. But did 
you understand it? Yes, just as well as I now understand 
one of Euclid's definitions : ' a point is that which has posi- 
tion but not magnitude;' or President Webber's definition, 
from Harvard College: 'number is the abstract ratio of one 
quantity for another of the same kind, taken for unity.' 
There's for you ! 

"That little old house up the stony road was the birth- 
place of Asahel Nettleton, one of the most remarkable men 
the world ever saw. In the little red school-house on ' Par- 
ker's Hill,' I heard him preach what was said to have been 
his first sermon, certainly the first he ever preached in his 
native place. I recollect that his subject was Balak and Ba- 
laam, and that he was very awkward, frequently bending 
the knees as if making a courtesy. How different from 
what he was when, a student in Yale College, I heard him 
in 1820 ! No one who did not hear him in those days can 
have any idea of the power of this preacher. The school- 
house, where all were packed closely around him, where 
they hardly breathed, and where the Holy Ghost literally 
fell upon them, this was the throne of his power. 

"Another very small house was the birthjolace of Rev. 
Titus Coan, known the world over as missionary on the 
Sandwich Islands, and pastor of the largest church on the 
face of the earth. He is still living, and so we'll not say 
what we think of him." 

It was among such scenes and associations that John's 
early childhood was spent. As he grew older and stronger, 
"he worked hard for his food, and for a part of his clothing. 
He trapped furs for the rest. Mink and musk-rat skins 
bought the first hat he ever wore — his own Sunday hat." 

Two trifling incidents occurred in this part of his child- 
hood (but in childhood trifles are important) which illus- 
trate, and perhaps increased, the great tenderness of his 
character — the death of Echo, and that of the phebe. 

Echo was the little dog that ran by his side when he rode 



42 JOHX TODD. 

to his aunt's, behind Coesar — " a small white dog, with yel- 
low ears, long, silky, and curling hair, and a face so bright 
and intelligent that it almost laughed. He was a very 
knowing fellow, and a great favorite with the neighborhood 
generally, and with his owner in particular. Being left by 
my father at his death, he was a kind of keepsake of the 
dead. When he was a mere pup, a boy carried him down 
to one of the wharves in New York to throw him off and 
drown him. Just as he was about to give him a toss, my 
lather came along and pitied him. The boy gave him up, 
and he was so small that my father actually put him in his 
great-coat pocket, and carried him home. It was evening 
when he arrived, and as he put him down on the floor the 
clock struck nine, and immediately he attempted to bark. 
Hence my father gave him the name of Echo. The dog was 
a gre^t favorite with him; and as soon as he got large 
enough he used to go with him to visit his sick patients. 
But he was tried for the crime of killing sheep ; and though 
his owner and friends made great efforts to prove that it 
must have been some other dog, yet the testimony was so 
full and so decided that he stood convicted, his life forfeit- 
ed by law, and the tears of the family could not save him. 
He was condemned to be shot ! I did not know, and I did 
not want to know, the particulars. I only know that I spoke 
to him in tears, and he followed a man with a gun into 
the woods, and never came back again. It seems now that 
if I could see him again I should know him from all the 
dogs in the world." [In all his life he never owned an- 
other dog.] 

"My uncle and aunt were very kind to every body and 
every thing. Xobody had so many swallows making their 
nests under the roof of their barn. Nobody had so many 
martin-birds in their red box at the end of their little red 
house, as they. Nobody had so many little chattering, 
flitting, joyous wrens as they. Nobody had so many pets 
that seemed to love them, as they. Among other things 
was a very tame phebe-bird. For seven years she had come 
after the long winter was over, and built her nest in the 
same place, and there reared and educated her young phebes. 
One day she had just returned, and, as she had no note but 
to repeat her own name, she cried 'phebe,' 'phebe,' as if 



HIS CHILDHOOD. 43 

glad to get back. I used to throw stones ; and, as I had no 
other boy very near me, I threw them till I became quite 
accurate. In the course of the day I thought I would try 
my skill upon old phebe. She stood upon a post near the 
spot where she was to build her nest, and looked at me with 
all confidence, as much as to say, ' You w^on't hurt me.' I 
found a nice stone, and poising my arm, I threw it with my 
utmost skill. Jt struck poor phebe on the head, and she 
dropped dead. I was sorry the moment I saw her fall; bat 
it was all done. All day long her mate came round and 
called ' phebe,' ' phebe,' in tones so sad that it made my 
heart ache. AVhy had I taken a life so innocent, and made 
the poor mate grieve so ? I said nothing to the Harailtons 
about it; but they found it out; and, though they never 
said a word to me about it, I knew that they mourned for 
the bird, and were deeply grieved at my cruelty. That 
stone rebounded and hit me. How deep a wound it made 
upon my memory ! For fifty years I have carried it, though 
I have never spoken of it before ; and I would make great 
sacrifices to-day if I could undo that one deed." 

His quiet life was varied with occasional visits to East 
Guilford. His father's older brother, Jonathan, was very 
kind to the orphans, and always gave them a welcome, 
though he had a large family of his own. 

At these visits often, as well as sometimes at home, he 
met his father's younger and only other brother, after whom 
he was named, and to whom he was specially attached. He 
was then living in Vermont. 

" I loved him from my childhood ; for he was one of the 
very few who used to speak to me in the tones of hearth and 
home that make you feel that the cords which bind you to 
kindred are not all gone: He was the only one, after my 
father's death, who would take me into his arms. What 
child does not love to be fondled ? And what remembrances 
do the days of childhood send down to later years, and make 
one wish that such and such things, wholly beyond our con- 
trol, but which formed our characters, , had been otherwise! 
It is sad to see the last leaves of the tree thus fall ofi", and to 
know that on earth they can never be renewed. You will 
recollect that I had no father, and my two uncles had all 
the love of my young heart. Do you wonder, then, that I 



44 JOHX TODD. 

drop a tear at the death of the last one of that generation 
whom I loved, or who loved me?" 

The story of this Uncle John is worthy of mention, as 
having had, undoubtedly, an influence on the nephew, and 
as ilhistrating the energy characteristic of the family. 

" Like myself, he w^as the youngest son. Losing his fa- 
ther at an early age, he had no one to guide him. When 
a mere youth, he pushed up into Vermont. , Here he grew 
into manhood, and rose to be high sherifi". Those w^ere the 
days of strong drink. He was tempted in that new state 
of society, and he fell. He drank with the same energy 
that he did every thing else. He had a constitution like 
iron, and he stood long before he fell. He at last drank 
up character, reputation, property, and every thing else. 
When he found himself down at the lowest point, like the 
thief among the robbers, he picked himself up, and alone, 
without either friend or acquaintance, he went to Western 
New York. Here he put ofi" the slough, and became at 
once sober, upright, and energetic, and educated his chil- 
dren. For the last tw^enty years he paid one -twelfth of 
the expenses of supporting the Gospel at Manlius. He was 
a reader, something of a schemer, but his sound judgment 
so predominated over every thing else that he seldom made 
a mistake. A warmer friend is rarely found. He was a 
strong swimmer, but the torrent into which he was early 
thrown was too powerful for his strength ; but he buffeted 
it long, and when every one supposed he was gone, his 
arm alone grasped the shore and pulled him out. He was 
never guilty of a dishonest, or mean, or ignoble act. His 
sins were those of the great-hearted. His last sickness was 
severe, but calm ; and though fears had for years shut out 
the sunlight of hope, yet his last days and hours were bright. 
Every cloud went from the sky, and the sun of life went 
down full-orbed and beautiful. Poor old man ! he never, 
probably, received a farthing in the way of aid, yet he died 
worth twenty-five or thirty thousand dollars, and has left 
an honest name. But his name will soon be forgotten — a 
fact which, I presume, is wormwood and bitterness to the 
thoughts of each one of the proud race to which I belong. 

"In the year 1810, my Uncle Hamilton being a prisoner 
among the Spaniards, my aunt broke up housekeeping for 



MI^ CHILDHOOD. 45 

one winter, and I went to live with Mr. Evarts, at New 
Haven. I went to school to Mr. Jarman." 

Mr. Jeremiah Evarts was his own cousin, a son of his fa- 
ther's oldest sister, and was at that time practicing law in 
New Haven. He had married a daughter of the celebrated 
Roger Sherman, and was residing on Chapel Street, just op- 
posite the college buildings. He had quite a large family, 
having a number of gentlemen connected with the college 
at his table. Little "Johnny" was employed in waiting 
upon the table, running of errands, and doing a small boy's 
work about the house. It was, undoubtedly, in the family 
of this eminent man, and in this collegiate atmosphere, that 
that desire for a college education, which afterward became 
so strong, began to spring up in the boy's mind. 

"In the spring, Uncle Hamilton having returned, I went 
again to live with him, and work with him on the farm. 
This was the happiest period of my childhood. I worked 
hard, ate and slept Avell, and was in perfect health. I had 
for my companions two boys of about my age, who lived in 
the neighborhood, and at whose house I was wont to visit 
often ; and they were very liberal with the best of apples 
and cider. The chief of our diversions were catching rab- 
bits and fishing. 

" They used to send me over ' to the cove,' w^here were 
a store and a small village. By the side of the store there 
stood, one day, a long cane fish-pole. It was very long, 
very straight, and very light. How I wanted that pole ! It 
seemed to me that if I could only own that pole I should be 
perfectly happy ; the joints were so regular, it w^as mottled 
so beautifully, it tapered off so nicely. By great promises 
and eftorts I finally got possession. How I mounted old 
Kate's back! She was frightened at first with such a long 
whip hanging over her. I well remember how the boys 
shouted after me, and the men and women smiled, and the 
dogs barked, as I rode home. It seemed to me that every 
body and every body's dog were out that day to laugh at 
my long pole. But I finally reached home, and instead of 
finding the family running out to greet me and admire my 
purchase (mind, I had run in debt for it, and knew it would 
take me a long time to pay the debt), they laughed, and 
asked, ' Why, John, what do you expect to do w^ith that 



46 JOHN TODD. 

fish-pole?' Till that moment it had never occurred to me 
that there was not a pond within miles of me, and the only 
place where I could fish was a little brook running among 
the bushes, I using a pin hook and a pole four feet long. 
What could I do with my pole ? How I wished that Cedar 
Pond was near-by, or that our little brook was a great 
river ! After lifting and whirling it a while, and ' make-be- 
lieve' fishing, I set it up against the house, there being no 
place inside to receive so long a concern. Looking at it, a 
few days after I had become the happy owner, I found I had 
set it up in the sun, and one whole joint had split open. So 
I concluded the pole was ruined. And what next? Why, 
I would make me a flute to be sure ! So I cut it up, and 
measured, and contrived, and with a burning-iron made the 
mouth-hole, and the finger-holes, and felt quite proud of my 
flute. I saw it had no keys, and thought it looked quite as 
much like a fife as a flute. Well, fife it might be ; but, alas ! 
when I came to blow in it, not a sound would come, either 
flute or fife. That, too, was a failure. ' Never mind,' I said 
to myself, ' I can make some nice canes.' Out came my 
knife, and the poor pole was in half a dozen pieces ; but, in 
doing this, I broke and spoiled my knife. There the canes 
were ; but what then ? Who wanted them ? I tried to use 
one as I went to school ; but I found I did not need a cane ; 
it was in my way; and when I wanted to chase a squirrel 
running on the fence, it was a burden, and I lost it or threw 
it away. Piece by piece went my pole, till not a foot of it 
was left; and yet to be paid for! Nor was that all; it 
seemed as if every body wanted to torment me about my 
pole. If the cattle got into the mowing-lot, they would cry, 
' John, your fish-pole will be capital for those cattle ;' if the 
canker-worms built a nest on the very top of the tree, it 
was, 'John, now for the fish-pole !' And when little Johnny 
dropped his cap in the well, he begged for my fisli-pole to 
get it out. But there the debt was ; and how long and hard 
I had to try to earn and save till I had paid for it ! And it 
was many years before they ceased to hint about ' a good 
long fish-pole.' " 

It was in roaming over the hills and along the brooks, at 
this period, that he acquired the taste for, and skill in, wood- 
craft, which so manifested themselves in the vacations of his 



HIS CHILDHOOD. 47 

latter life. In the midst of his farm-labors and wood-sports, 
however, he still brooded in secret, and more and more, over 
the idea of going to college. 

" The little incident which I am about to mention was one 
among many which had an effect, probably a very decided 
effect, in forming the character of one who was left to be ed- 
ucated by the impressions of circumstances. I was work- 
ing on the farm with some men who happened to be em- 
ployed at that time. In a remote field stood a large tulip- 
tree, a tree apparently of a century's growth, and one of the 
most gigantic of that splendid species of tree. It looked 
like the father of the surrounding forest. On the top of 
this tree, for years an old eagle, commonly called ' the fishing 
eagle,' had built her nest every year, and, unmolested, raised 
her young. This tree stood full ten miles from the sea- 
shore, and had long been known as the ' old eagle tree.' On 
a warm, sunny day, we were hoeing corn in an adjoining 
field. At a certain hour of the day the old eagle was known 
to set ofi*for the sea-side, to gather food for the young. As 
she this day returned with a huge fish in her claws, the 
workmen surrounded the tree, and, by yelling, and hooting, 
and throwing stones, so scared the poor bird that she drop- 
ped her fish, and they carried it oft' in triumph. The men 
soon dispersed; but I sat down under a bush near by to 
watch, and to bestow unavailing pity. The bird soon re- 
turned to her nest without food. The eaglets at once set 
up a cry for food, so shrill, so clear, and so clamorous, that 
I was greatly moved. The parent bird seemed to try to 
soothe them ; but their appetites were too keen, and it was 
all in vain. She then perched herself on a limb near them, 
and looked down into the nest with a look that seemed to 
say, 'I know not what to do next.' Her indecision was but 
momentary ; again she poised herself, uttered one or two 
sharp notes, as if telling them to ' lie still,' balanced her 
body, spread her wings, and was away again for the sea. I 
now determined to see the result. My eye followed her till 
she grew small, smaller, a mere speck in the sky, and then 
disappeared. She was gone nearly two hours — about dou- 
ble her usual time for a voyage — when she again returned on 
a slow, weary wing, flying uncommonly low in order to have 
a heavier atmosphere to sustain her, with another fish in her 



48 JOHN TODD. 

talons. On nearing the field, she made a circuit around it 
to see if her enemies were again there. Finding the coast 
clear, she once more reached her tree, drooping, faint, and 
weary, and evidently nearly exhausted. Again the eaglets 
set up their cry, which was soon hushed by the distribution 
of a dinner such as— save the cooking — a king might ad- 
mire. 'Glorious bird !' cried I, in ecstasy and aloud; ' what 
a spirit ! Other birds can fly more swiftly, others can sing 
more sweetly, others can scream more loudly; but what oth- 
er bird, when persecuted and robbed, when weary, when dis- 
couraged, when so far from the sea, would do what thou 
hast done ? I will learn a lesson from thee this day. I will 
never forget that when the spirit is determined it can do al- 
most any thing. Others would have drooped, and hung the 
head, and mourned over the cruelty of man, and sighed over 
the wants of the nestlings ; but thou, by at once recovering 
the loss, hast forgotten all. I w^ill learn of thee, noble bird! 
I will remember this. I will set my mark high. I will try 
to do something, and to be something in the world ; and I 
will never yield to discouragements.' 

"There can be no doubt that my mind received an im- 
pression, and my decision of character an increase, from this 
circumstance, which was felt in all subsequent years. Tlie 
next day, from the fullness of my heart, I inadvertently 
dropped a hint of my determination to go to college some 
day. The announcement was received with a shout of ridi- 
cule." And to ridicule subsequently succeeded opposition. 
But whoever at any time thought to turn John Todd from 
a fixed purpose by ridicule or opposition, did not know the 
man. "Were it required," writes one of his early teachers, 
now an old man of ninety, " to describe in a short sentence 
what I tliink was the crowning quality in his character, I 
might say that, next to the special grace of God, his success 
sprung from the firmness, the decision of his character." 

"In the fall of 1812,1 v/ent to live with my uncle. Doctor 
Jonathan Todd, at East Guilford, that I might enjoy better 
means of schooling, my opportunities having as yet been 
small. My parting with Uncle and Aunt Hamilton can not 
be by my pen well described. I had lived with them six 
years, and they had been to me as parents. I could not bid 
my aunt ' good-bye,' for tears suppressed my utterance. I 



HIS CHILDHOOD. 49 

thought, as I walked to my uncle's dwelling (it was about 
ten miles), that I should never again be happy ; and indeed 
I stopped many times on my way, and dropped showers of 
tears; but, strange as it may appear, when I arrived at my 
uncle's I felt in as good spirits and as well as ever." 

The two years which he spent in his Uncle Jonathan's 
family were marked by no special incident. They were 
spent in much the same w'ay as the preceding years, except 
that his advantages were on a little larger scale. The only 
really new influence which was brought to bear upon him 
was that of the sea. As on the ridges of Xorth Killing- 
worth he had learned to love the forest and its craft, so here 
he became expert in, and devoted to, all water-sports. He 
learned to swiin like a duck, to handle a boat, to find the 
best fishing-grounds, and to hunt the sea-fowl. Through all 
his life he preserved a passionate fondness for the sea, and 
for this coast in particular. Once he tried to buy one of 
the beautiful islands that lie ofi'the Madison shore; and one 
of his last acts was to purchase, in company wdth his only 
surviving brother, a little sail-boat, in which he promised 
himself many a delightful renewal of acquaintance with the 
scenes of his boyhood. It lies idle on the sand, and he has 
gone alone on a darker sea over to a lovelier shore. To his 
early life in North Killingworth and in Madison may be 
traced that love and knowledge of the w^oods and of the sea 
which not only exercised afterward such an influence upon 
his recreations and health, but stored his mind with that 
wealth of imagery and illustration drawn from the forest 
and the ocean which appeared in all his writings, and lent 
them much of their charm. 

"My uncle had an old duck-gun of enormous size and 
weight, which I used to borrow. I never owned a gun of 
any kind till I had a home of my own. It was only lent to 
me on certain conditions — that I would first perform a cer- 
tain amount of work or study ; but, these complied with, 
Saturday afternoon found me trudging down to the shore 
with this piece of ordnance on my shoulder. My cousin oft- 
en went wdth me, and sometimes Abel, the black servant, 
also ; and on rare occasions the latter deigned to relieve me 
of my burden for a part of the way ; but usually I had to 
stagger along with it unaided. But the happiest hours of 

4 



50 JOHN TODD. 

my life were those Saturday afternoons spent in skulking 
among the rocks along the shore with that old blunderbuss, 
and blazing away, seldom with any eifect, at the ducks and 
sea-gulls." 

"At Madison they have a new meeting-house, and all 
things are altered there, save Tuxas Island and Gull Rock, 
where you and I, Uncle John, used to dig clams. When- 
ever I walk on those beautiful sand-bars, I think of you and 
of olden times, and of the years of my boyhood. I went out 
to Falkner's Island, and the Little Gull Islands near, and — 
would you think it ? — I picked up and carried to my little 
boy the same kind of round white stones which my own 
dear father gathered and brought to me when I was of his 
age, at least thirty-three years ago. The stones looked like 
the very same^ and, I presume, were gathered within a rod 
of the spot where he gathered mine. The old hive at Mad- 
ison looks more out of order and more neglected, otherwise 
it is about the same old shell that it always has been — the 
place of all others on earth associated with what moves me 
whenever I see it. The bushes up the lane are all great 
trees now, and have outgrown and forgotten me ; and even 
' Canoe Swamp ' is now quite a majestic wood, and the rab- 
bits have all left it. Poor fellows! they recollect less of me 
than I do of them. I can hardly realize that I, who am now 
growing gray-headed with care and labor, am the same be- 
ing I was in those days when ' Parker's Hill School-house' 
was a world of wisdom, and Molly Hamilton a paragon of 
beauty ! What would I not give for one hour of that free, 
joyous, gushing feeling of boyhood ! How foolishly I write 
on ! Will you not oblige me by putting it down on your 
slate that as long as you live you will write once a quarter 
to ' Tim's youngest boy ?' 

"Dearest of all Jonathans! I have been in Madison to 
see about mother. The school -pond is filled up, and new 
houses are built, and nothing looks natural except Uncle 
Todd's old house, the old elm-tree, the old school-house, and 
Mr. Ely's house. Tuxas Island and Gull Rock stand just 
where they did, and so do Round Rock and Reuben's Rocks, 
but they seem more lonely and desolate than when we were 
boys and used to stand on them. I went to Blackboys, and 
thought how I first went there with you, a long, long time 



HIS CHILDHOOD. 51 

ago. Do you recollect it? and the great fish which you 
caught ? When shall it be again ?" 

" Old Killingworth, too, has lost its old name, ray dear 
brother William, and they now call it Clinton. It is a poor- 
looking place, in every sense of the word. Last August I 
went there, and what do you think I did ? I went to see 
the old house in which our father died. It is just as it was 
then, except that they have papered the room in which he 
died. It has had no other repairs or alterations. The gar- 
den was the same, and every thing the same, and I could 
stand in the entry and recall it all. Before going over it, I 
told John Morgan just how every room was situated, and 
where, greatly to his astonishment. I carried ofl'some onions 
that grew in the garden which father used to till with so 
much delight ; and was about ready to knock Morgan down 
when I saw the stones with which father used to grind his 
medicines used as step-stones. Ten thousand old childish 
memories came rushing back to my mind during the visit, 
which had long since passed away. Our family have had a 
checkered life, and ' a hard row to hoe,' but we have had 
far more than we deserve. God has granted us great 
mercies in that none of us have been left to be drunkards, 
or dishonest, or openly wicked. He has done great things 
for us, and for this we should be grateful. I want you 
should be contented, simple-hearted, prayerful, indiiferent 
about property, and devoted to God." 

Three characters seem to have made special impression 
upon him in his life at Madison. 

" There they stand, before the eye of my mind, -the great- 
est men I ever saw. I was a boy then, and men and trees 
were tall, and rivers were wide, and hills were high, and 
every thing was on a great scale. But the three great men 
were, the minister, something superhuman ; the doctor, who 
carried life and death in his saddle-bags; and the militia 
captain, who could raise armies and conquer legions. Let 
me describe them. The minister (Rev. John Elliot, D.D,, 
pastor at East Guilford at the time) was a tall, very thin 
and slim man. His legs, always dressed in black stockings 
and small clothes, seemed too slender to hold him up. How 
neatly he was always dressed — not a spot or wrinkle on his 
o:arments ! What a broad-brimmed hat he wore — renewed 



52 JOHX TODD. 

just once in two years ! His manners and bearing were 
most gentlemanly. He was a fine scholar, a genuine lover 
of study, a capital preacher, a wise and most shrewd man, 
never trying to be rich or known, but well known, and all 
his life long he received the enormous salary of four hundred 
dollars a year. He was the life and soul of the village li- 
brary, and ready for every good w^ork. How w^e boys and 
oirls were wont to look upon him with awe and reverence, 
unable to believe that the common frailties of human nature 
hung about him ! I never dared enter his front door till I 
had been a member of college a year or two. I have never 
since met the minister who, to me, was so great. 

"The second great man was the doctor (his own uncle, 
Doctor Jonathan Todd). "What a wonder was he ! A 
short, heavy, lymphatic man, whose hair was almost milk- 
white. He was careless about his dress, for it had to be ex- 
posed to all sorts of weather. He always rode horseback, 
with saddle-bags, and we children always supposed those 
bags contained what the Chinese doctors now use — scorpions, 
lizards, toads, serpents, and the like. He never spared him- 
self when his aid was needed, and his charges were one 
shilling (seventeen cents) each visit, and were the subject of 
far more murmurings than the charges of physicians at this 
day. I can see him now, on his bay horse with a white 
streak in his face extending from the nose up to the fore- 
head. We used to watch him as we would watch an angel 
of life or death, to see at whose house he was to alight. He 
was most careful as a nurse, and though he bled, purged, 
and gave medicines that would now be thought fearful in 
quantity, yet he was a good physician. He was a peace- 
maker, and, though a justice of the peace, he always settled 
the quarrel, if possible, without trying it. He was always 
in demand as moderator of the town meeting, was frequently 
sent to the Legislature ; a kind of father to the whole com- 
munity, against whom no man ever bore a grudge or ill- 
will. Didri't he have the tooth-pullers, and the pills, and the 
emetics, and the lancets, all in those saddle-bags ! His face 
was mild and benevolent, but there were life and death in 
those saddle-bags. I have never seen so great a doctor 
since, though he did charge a shilling a visit, and seldom 
collected even that. 



I 



HIS CHILDHOOD. 53 

"My third great man was the captain. Was there ever 
such an officer as Captain Jucld ! He was tall, straight as 
an arrow, and had a noble figure. When he came forth on 
' training-day,' with an old Continental uniform (the most 
imposing, I still think, that I ever saw), his blue coat, bufl* 
vest, and buff leather small-clothes, and white-top boots, and 
high triangular hat with its lofty plume, his red sash around 
his loins, and his neat sword, and white gloves, who ivoidd 
not stand in awe ! He was not the same man whom, the day 
before, we saw bending over the anvil or shoeing the horse 
in his blacksmith shop. He was something now to be feared. 
We had no doubt but that with his company, which he 
marched, and countermarched, and wheeled, and manoeuvred 
all day, he could have conquered any army that ever ex- 
isted. What a military head ! what an eye ! what a voice ! 
and what an ear to hear if a gun were shot off a second 
or two before word of command ! I once heard him tell 
his company he ' would not have had that gun go off so for 
five dollars.' The assertion seemed incredible to me when 
I heard it. Ah me ! I have seen some great men since, but 
never any so great as these three. Oh, the eyes of child- 
hood !" 

When he had lived with his uncle about a year and a 
half, Mr. Evarts came on from Charlestown, Massachusetts, 
to which place he had moved, to undertake the editorship 
of a publication called the PanojMst, to attend commence- 
ment at Xew Haven. While in the vicinity, he went out to 
East Guilford, to visit his relatives. Here he met again the 
boy who had spent a winter in his family. On his kindly 
inquiring of his welfare the boy replied, " I had hoped, sir, 
that you would want me again in your family." This led 
to farther inquiries, and eventually to a generous offer from 
Mr. Evarts of a home in his family, with a view to his attend- 
ing a better school than could be found in Guilford. The 
offer was accepted, and all through the summer and fall 
John anticipated, and made such slight preparations as he 
could for, his departure. As the time drew near, some one 
asked him if he had money enough for his journey. He re- 
plied that he had. And it was not till he was questioned 
a second time, and more closely, that he confessed that he 
had but seventy-five cents. However, no one gave him any 



54 JOHN TODD. 

more; and so, on the 21st of November, 1815, with a small 
bundle of clothes under one arm and seventy-five cents in 
his pocket, he left forever — not his home^ for he had had 
none, but every thing that had been home-like, and started 
out into the world alone. "I believe my uncle parted with 
me with some regret ; and I know I shed many tears on 
leaving this home, and father's house, of all our orphan 
familv." 



LIFE AT CHARLESTOWK 55 



CHAPTER IV. 

LIFE AT CHAKLESTOWN. 

A weary Tramp.— Homesick.— The Errand-boy.— Hard Work.— At School. 
— A queer Costume. — Spectacles. — Religious Influences. — Dr. Morse. — A 
sandy Foundation. — Convictions. — An everlasting Covenant. — To do 
Good. — The Sunday-school. — Determination to go to College. — The Walk 
hack. — Examination. — The Cedar-bush. — The Bond. 

How in the world, with the means that he had, John ever 
accomplished that journey from Guilford to Boston we can 
never know. It was on Monday morning at about eight 
o'clock that he started oif, " with a stiff hickory cane in one 
hand, and a small bundle in the other. In his checkered 
handkerchief were all his worldly goods, consisting of a Tes- 
tament, a few shirts, with a black ribbon in the collar of each, 
and a small number of unimportant articles of dress." At 
eight o'clock that evening he arrived at iSTew London, hav- 
ing walked about thirty-live miles. Twice had he missed 
the way ; for, finding that whenever he made inquiries peo- 
ple suspected and accused him of being a runaway, he had 
made up his mind to ask no more questions, but to find his 
w:ay as w^ell as he could by the guide-posts. 

At Xew London he found a former acquaintance, a man 
who had some years before taught a free school which the 
boy had attended. The school-master was now a tavern- 
keeper and proprietor of a corner grocery, and was at first 
not disposed to remember his former pupil. But his good- 
nature soon prevailed, and he received the young traveler 
into his house ; who seems to have been struck wnth a de- 
plorable change in the moral and religious character of his 
host — a change as great as, and possibly occasioned by, the 
change in his business. 

Of his experiences between New London and Boston he 
never said any thing, and he has left no record. They were, 
perhaps, too unimportant, or perhaps too painful to be dwelt 
upon. Tradition has it that at night he slept by the road- 



56 JOHN TODD. 

side, protected by a fence or a cedar bush only from the 
November frosts. But on Saturday morning he arrived safe- 
ly at Charlestown, and was welcomed kindly to his place in 
the fomily of Mr. Evarts. But no welcome, however kind, 
could quite reconcile the boy to the change. "For the first 
three or four wrecks I would have given any thing to have 
been at — I do not say home, for I had none, but Connecticut. 
Never was I so homesick, as it is called ; and I am convinced 
that not many diseases are more painful." 

The position which he occupied in Mr. Evarts's family was, 
naturally, in part menial. He was expected to saw the wood 
and draw the water, run of errands, and render what assist- 
ance he could in the family out of school-hours. There was 
also residing in the family, and in some way related to it, a 
lady of abundant means and many w^hims, who persisted in 
sending the boy all over the city on errands suggested by 
her fancies — a servitude which one eye-witness thinks he 
could not have endured, and did try the boy's patience se- 
verely. Occasionally he was able to earn a little extra with 
his wood-saw ; and this he invariably devoted to procuring 
school-books, "never going higher than a street book-stall 
for his purchases." So few helping hands were stretched 
out to him, that the gift of two or three old Latin books 
from Samuel J. Armstrong, at that time a book-seller, after- 
ward governor, was recorded with touching expressions of 
gratitude. After a time he was able to write and do office- 
work for Mr. Evarts, who was then treasurer of the American 
Board, as w^ell as editor of the Panoplist, and was connected 
with various societies, and had much for a boy to do. On 
one occasion he writes: "I have now begun to do up, direct, 
and send off upward of four hundred pamphlets, which will 
occupy me some time. They are to be sent to societies, etc. 
I am to receive several of them as a kind of present for my 
trouble. They could not hire it done for five dollars, at the 
common price of things. I shall send those that I receive 
to my friends, and hope they will not be unwilling to pay 
the postage of them. I am certain they would not, if they 
knew how hard I labored for them." When it is considered 
that the pamphlet was entitled "The Conversion of the 
World," and that the day of cheap postage was far distant, 
it will not, perhaps, be thought that his pay was excessive, 



LIFE AT CHARLESTOWK 57 

or his apprehensions respecting the appreciation of his friends 
unfounded. 

Two years after entering Mr. Evarts's family he wrote: 

"Boston, Thanksgiving-day, December 4tli, 1817. 
" My dear Brother William, — I will give you an imper- 
fect sketch how I spend my time. I rise at six in the morn- 
ing, make fires, etc. ; saw wood till eight o'clock (in which 
time I can saw enough to last three fires during the twenty- 
four hours) ; breakfast ; get to school at half-past eight ; re- 
cite a Greek lesson at nine o'clock ; a Latin lesson at half- 
past ten ; at eleven the school is dismissed ; get home at 
half-past eleven; go of errands, etc., till one; dine at half- 
past one ; get to school at two ; recite a Latin lesson at half- 
past two; a grammar lesson at three; another Latin lesson 
at lour ; school dismissed at half-past four ; return home ; 
drink tea ; write for Mr. Evarts till nine ; attend family 
prayers at half-past nine ; get my Greek lesson for the next 
morning ; retire to bed at eleven. I do not think I spend half 
an hour a week in idleness. I allow myself but seven hours 
out of the twenty-four for sleep, and I should not so much, if 
I did not think it absolutely necessary. I have made con- 
siderable progress in the Latin language, and can read it 
wuth facility. I have read but a little more than five chapters 
in my Greek Testament. I forgot to mention above that I 
have to read in English twice a day, and speak a piece once 
a week. Mr. Haskell, my instructor, thinks I have made very 
great improvement since I have been to him (which is about 
three weeks), and that if I can continue my studies I can be 
fitted for college by next fiiU. You mention that you think 
it probable that you may take to farming. If I can not get 
along in my studies, and can have no provision for my sup- 
port (as I now see no way in which I can), I shall go into 
the new country, and might, perhaps call on you ; if so, and 
you are then working on a farm, perhaps I might go to work 
with you. I have received a letter from Uncle Jonathan 
Todd, in which he complains that he is growing old and 
feeble ; would help me if he could, but says that his burden 
is very great. I think so too. He certainly has done very 
much for our dear mother, and has by this means created a 
^,ebt that I shall never think myself able to repay." 



5S JOHX TODD. 

Mr. Evarts had at this time just removed from Charles- 
town to Boston, and was living on Pinckney Street. For 
about live months previous, John had been taking private 
lessons of a Doctor Oliver S. Taylor, who still survives, to 
write with a trembling hand : " The studies were chiefly in 
Virgil, the Greek grammar, and the Greek Testament. His 
lessons were thoroughly studied and well recited. Among 
all the thousands whom Providence has thrown in my way, 
or has placed under my tuition, very few have been so care- 
ful, so inquisitive, and so thorough as he was." On the re- 
moval of the family to Boston, he went to the private school 
of Mr. Ezra Haskell, referred to in the above letter. One 
of his school-mates writes: "This school was held in the 
basement of the old Chauncey Place Church. There were 
perhaps forty-five or more boys and girls, from fourteen to 
seventeen years of age ; also three others, of whom John 
was one, who attended only to the languages preparatory 
to entering college. The boys were there at eight o'clock, 
and left at eleven. The girls went to school at ten o'clock, 
and left at two. So that they were together only one hour 
each day. The common branches were attended to first by 
the younger members, and were dismissed in season to give 
undivided attention to the Latin class. Their three desks 
were placed together on one side of the room, so that they 
faced the wall ; and opposite to them four of us girls also 
faced the wall. So that what I learned of him was from the 
back of his head ! You smile ; but it is true, and I learned 
much ; for his was a character to be studied, and I had 
nothing else to do, as I prepared all my lessons thoroughly 
at home. How did he look? In his personal appearance 
he was sui generis. Tall, of a stooping posture, grave coun- 
tenance, and knit brows, he seemed to live in the realm of 
thought. His dress was unique; a brown corded- velvet 
coat, and stockinet pants, and a blue and white cravat tied 
with a single bow-knot, his hair brushed to his own fancy, 
and all the most distant from the fashion. His grandfather 
wore the suit in the Revolution. He was dignified Avithout 
superciliousness ; and he never put on airs. He was an in- 
defatigable student. He was persistent and independent. 
He knew that his dress excited the mirth of us all, and that 
no other like it could be found in Boston ; nevertheless, he 



LIFE AT CHARLESTOWK 59 

moved straight on, minding his own business. He would 
have been known anywhere as 'the scholar,' yet was with- 
out the appearance of moroseness. He was genial, with a 
vein of humor. With a battalion of bright faces and auda- 
cious smiles, we girls thought to bring down the citadel 
froiii its high estate; but all the notice we received was a 
twinkle of roguery above his spectacles, which said, ' I could 
be merry if I would.' He was remarkably kind-hearted. 
He never hesitated to take his own mind from his books to 
nelp ray brother; and the loving lean, and the pointing to 
the sentence with his finger as he explained it, I can well 
remember." It was thus that, with invincible courage and 
perseverance, he pursued his studies, entirely uncertain 
whether he would ever be able to carry out his long-cherish- 
ed project of entering college. So close was his application 
that, as appears in the above letter, his eye -sight was al- 
ready seriously affected. It was on an excursion into the 
country that he first discovered that he could not distin- 
guish distant objects as he once could. It was not till long 
afterward that, being in a jeweler's shop, and, for the fun of 
it, trying on a pair of spectacles, he accidentally discovered 
the extent of his misfortune, and the means of remedying it. 
Always after this he wore spectacles ; yet to the end of his 
life he was in the habit of removing them when reading or 
writing at his desk. 

But it was in the year before this, wdiile he was residing 
in Charlestown, that the greatest event of his life occurred. 

From his very infancy he had been subject to religious in- 
fluences. One of his earliest recollections was that of the 
family worship. His father's dying charge to him, to make 
God his father and friend, was fixed in his memory by pecul- 
iarly painful circumstances. On his father's grave his pas- 
tor, the venerable Doctor Mansfield, tenderly directed him to 
the God of the orphan, and he made resolutions which were 
never forgotten. In her humble home at Killingworth, his 
Aunt Hamilton trained him carefully in genuine Puritan 
habits, and exerted upon him the influence of a Christian 
mother, and not without effect. There is a tradition that he 
was one day accompanying some boys to their home, when, 
at the foot of the hill, they left the road, and turned into a 
field of rye. He instantly stopped, and asked, "You are not 



GO JOHN TODD. 



going tbrougli that rye?" " Yes, this is the way we always 
go." "I aiu not going through that rye." "Why not?" 
"Because the rye will be trampled down and injured." 
And he turned back and went round, and they went with 
him. The incident illustrates not only his strength of char- 
acter, but tlie conscientiousness to which he had been care- 
fully trained. At his uncle's in East Guilford he was in a 
Christian family, and came under the influence of Doctor El- 
liot, of whom he wrote, on hearing of his death, " He was one 
of the best of men and of ministers. I most sincerely regret 
now that I had not gone to Guilford during last vacation, 
and seen him once more, for I loved him very much. Oh 
that I could so live as to be deeply and extensively lamented 
when I leave this world ! Nothing could be more unexpect- 
ed or sudden to me than this news of his death, and seldom 
has intelligence affected me so deeply." At Charlestown 
he became an inmate of the family of a remarkably eminent 
Christian: "Mr. Evarts was a holy man." Here, also, he 
came under the influence of Doctor Morse, and he was now 
of an age when a pastor's influence begins to be sensibly felt. 
" I was often at his house on errands ; and as I sat under 
his ministry for several years, and as I first made a pro- 
fession of religion under him, I had a good opportunity to 
know him well. On the canvas of the memory his form 
stands out before me, tall, slight, graceful, and a little stoop- 
ing, as he rises in the pulpit on the Sabbath morning. His 
countenance is uncommonly mild and benignant, his face 
rather long, pale and care-worn, his foi-ehead high and fair. 
His hair is thin, white, silky, dressed with great care, and, I 
think neatly powdered. His eye runs over the congregation 
quick, and, though mild and gentle, I presume it instantly 
takes in every full pew, and every vacant pew, and every 
stranger, in his large church edifice. It is an eye that unites 
the gentle, the bright, and the quick to an uncommon de- 
gree. His voice is soft, mild, musical, though on too high a 
key, and not of great compass. Perhaps it comes too near 
to the term chanting; not that it is unpleasant, but that it 
lacks depth, compass, and power. In delivering the sermon, 
which he always writes out in full, and which lies before 
him in its black morocco case, he seems to aim to win, draw, 
and persuade, rather than to overw"helm with argument, or 



LIFE AT CHARLESTOWN. 61 

drive by the awfiilness of manner or matter. Though all 
my remembrances of his preaching are only pleasurable, yet 
I can not now recall striking things, peculiar things, or odd 
things, that he says in the pulpit. He never cultivates 
prongs. He has the appearance of a venerable and most af- 
fectionate father addressing his children, rather than a re- 
prover rebuking evil-doers, or a judge reading from his 
scroll the condemnation of the guilty. He loves rather to 
pluck the roses that grow on Mount Zion, than to handle 
the thorns which cluster around Sinai. I can recall no one 
thing which I ever heard him say in the pulpit, which left 
an unpleasant impression, nor can I recall many that pricked 
like goads, and left their impression upon the conscience, 
like a nail fixed in a sure place. His mild, beaming face and 
melodious voice do much to cover up asperities, should there 
be any. I remember him as he stood at the weekly meet- 
ings in the chapel in his garden, his tender intercourse witli 
young converts, and as he stood at the communion-table, 
and with the affection of John, the beloved disciple, brake 
bread to his flock. Those who agreed with him in doctrinal 
belief loved and revered him as a father. In his dress, per- 
sonal appearance, and manners, Doctor Morse still stands be- 
fore the eye as a gentleman of the old school. He wears 
the long coat and full vest of the day, small-clothes with 
buckles at the knees, black silk stockings, and nicely polished 
shoes. His neckcloth is of snowy whiteness, and his gloves 
black silk, with the tips of the fingers cut off. When he 
walks the street with his gold -headed cane, his tall and 
graceful form and his whole appearance point him out to 
a stranger as a gentleman in all his habits. His manners 
are highly polished, and he has uncommon conversational 
powers. Mrs. Morse, too, was a noble specimen of a woman. 
She was the first woman that ever gave me the full impres- 
sion of what a wife and mother can be. An orphan myself, 
and never having known a home, many a time have I gone 
away from Doctor Morse's house in tears, feeling that such 
a home must be more like heaven than any thing of which 
I could conceive." 

Such were the religious teachers and associations that 
influenced the boy from his infancy. It is not surprising, 
therefore, that he became a conscientious, sober-minded boy, 



62 JOHX TODD. 

correct in behavior, and having many deep impressions. 
Still he knew nothing, as yet, of religion by experience ; and, 
so tar from being consecrated to God, he was full of plans of 
worldly ambition. 

"In the spring of 1816, a Mr. S came to Mr. Evarts's, 

and boarded for a few Aveeks. He was the first who ever 
endeavored to arrest my attention to my everlasting con- 
cerns. One afternoon, he and myself being alone, he asked 
me if ever I had a special calling from God. I answered, 
'Xo.' He then inquired if I should fear death, and if I 
thought I should go to heaven if I were to die immediately. 
I answered that wei"e I to die immediately, I thought God 
would not cast me off, for I had never done any thing of 
any consequence against him, and therefore I considered my 
claim upon heaven to be as good as that of any one. Mr. 

S told me he thought I was building upon a sandy 

foundation, and, after giving me a few hints of advice, drop- 
ped the conversation. I felt a pang after this, such as I 
had never before felt. I thought much that night upon 
what I had said in regard to death, and considered it an 
awful challenge to the Almighty. The next morning was 
still worse. I felt such a load of guilt lying upon me as 
seemed nearly to crush me to the ground. I was with Mr. 
Evarts alone in the forenoon ; and although I had to with- 
draw to another part of the room and wipe my eyes, yet I 
dared not open my mind to him. Soon he withdrew for 
about half an hour. Oh, the anguish that then surrounded 
ray soul ! It seemed as if hell itself had risen up to con- 
demn me, and yawned to swallow me. My distress was so 
great that I expected every moment to drop into hell. The 
room suddenly became dark to me, my senses were con- 
fused, and I sunk down into a chair, almost distracted. 
How long I continued in this state I do not know, but it 
seemed a full day, so great was my distress. Almost the 
first thing that I took any notice of was Mr. S , who en- 
tered the room. I was involuntarily weeping very freely, 
for I did not know what nor where I was. He addressed 
me very kindly, little suspecting the real cause of my weep- 
ing, and asked if I was sick. I at last made him understand 
what was the matter with me. It seemed as if I would 
have given any thing to have had Mr. Evarts return soon- 



LIFE AT CHARLESTOWX. 63 

er, that I might have opened my mind freely to him, and 
reproached myself because I had not before done it. He, 
however, came in after Mr. S had been there some mo- 
ments. I derived no comfort for several days, but would 
have given worlds, could that have been done, for a ransom 
for my soul. I read Baxter's ' Saints' Rest,' and thought 
the rest of saints indeed glorious, but that I never should 
enjoy it. I tried to pray, but considered that it was useless 
for me to pray, for God would never hear me; and there- 
fore I gave it up, and calculated to go to hell. I did not 
feel now much alarmed at the thought of being a companion 
of devils forever, for I hated God, and thought I should pre- 
fer devils to him. Strange as this hardness, wickedness of 
heart may seem, I gave over all thoughts of religion for two 
or three months, and gave myself up to wickedness. Mr. 
S had left Mr. Evarts's family soon after the conversa- 
tion referred to, and as I had never opened my mind to Mr. 
Evarts during my distress, I had no one to check me. 

"In the followins: September, Mr. and 3Irs. Evarts went 
to Connecticut. While they were gone, a revival of relig- 
ion commenced in Charlestown. I attended meeting eveiy 
evening, and trembled lest I had committed the unpardona- 
ble sin. I read Doddridge's 'Rise and Progress,' and trem- 
bled at every page. I could, however, at this time pray, 
and, I think too, in spirit. I now considered against what a 
merciful God I had sinned, and these thoughts drew tears 
from my eyes, which, a little before, hell could not have 
done. I thought that if I were cast out, I would go from 
the foot of the cross. I considered that it would be just in 
God to send me to hell forever. About this time I began 
to feel compassion for the salvation of others. I then be- 
gan to consider if there was any way in which I might be 
prepared to do good to my fellow-men, and communicated 
this to Mr. Brown, a gentleman to whom I was then going 
to school. He encouraged me, and from that time I have 
had a very great desire to be an embassador of Christ. 
On the 13th of April, 1817, 1 gave myself up to God in an 
everlasting covenant. I wrote a covenant in the presence 
of God and angels alone, signed and sealed it, in which I 
gave myself entirely up to God. I have never opened it 
since, and I never aim to again in this world. I also that 



64 JOHN TODD. 

day made a public profession of religion, and joined myself 
with the church in Charlestown." 

In one of the last nights of his life, Doctor Todd remark- 
ed, "I hardly know what to say about my Christian hope. 
When I was about sixteen years of age, in Charlestown, I 
thought that I was converted, and I joined the church. But 
after a while my interest abated, and I fell into old ways. 
And then, when I was in college, there was a revival, and I 
was stirred up again. And then I grew indiiferent again. 
And so it has been all along. I don't know — perhaps it is 
better to rest my hope n^jon the general aim and endeavor 
of my life, and upon the mercy of God, than upon those ear- 
ly experiences." 

It is perfectly natural that the mature Christian, looking 
back, should have a poor opinion of his imperfect beginnings 
of Christian life; but it can hardly be doubted that in this 
Charlestown experience he passed through a great moral 
change. From this period dates a "desire to do good," 
which was one of the deepest and most variedly expressed 
and manifested of his feelings all his life long. "To do 
good" -svas his great ambition. 

One of his first efibrts in this direction was made under 
the guidance of Doctor Morse. " I well remember attending 
the first meeting ever held in that region to organize a Sab- 
bath-school. Doctor Morse was the mover in it, and I was 
a teacher in it from its very opening." The only other male 
teachers were the two sons of Doctor Morse — Sidney E., aft- 
erward editor of the New York Observer^ and Samuel F., or 
Finley, as he was called, subsequently the inventor of the 
electric telegraph — with both of whom he was intimate. This 
was one of the first Sunday-schools in the country; and here 
he acquired the interest in the Sunday-school work which 
distinguished him all his life. It w\as, perhaps, his connection 
with Mr. Evarts, and consequent familiar acquaintance with 
the operations of the American Board, which led him to 
form the resolution to become a missionary. The purpose 
was after many years reluctantly relinquished, but his in- 
terest in the foreign missionary work never abated. From 
this period his letters indicate that he has passed through 
a change. He does not wait for a missionary appointment, 
or ministerial license, to speak to others of that which he 






LIFU AT CHARLESTOWN. 65 

lias found most precious. Hardly a letter to one of his 
brothers or sisters closes without a word of affectionate ad- 
monition : " I do entreat you, ray dear sister, to strive to 
gain the one thing needful;" "I hope you will not be care- 
less and indifferent as to your own situation, while in other 
places they are coming from all quarters to the Fountain to 
be cleansed ;" " I long to hear that my dear brother and sis- 
ter have made their 'calling and election sure.'" 

But the most immediate and marked evidence of a change 
was, that " the desire for cultivating, enlarging, and disci- 
plining the mind, and making it an instrument of useful- 
ness, was every day growing stronger and stronger. It was 
all I had with which to do good. The desire to go to col- 
lege was now rekindled with inextinguishable ardor. But 
what difficulties were in the way ! I was without friends, 
among strangers, and entirely destitute of property, with not 
a single voice to encourage. Without a single exception, 
every individual with whom I conversed endeavored to dis- 
courage me. One thought it a bold undertaking which could 
never be carried through. Another, that I had not talents 
sufficient to become a scholar. A third, that I might make 
a good business man, and it was a great pity to spoil me for 
business." 

His teacher, Mr. Haskell, who kindly gave him half of his 
tuition, had some talks with the boy about his future pros- 
pects, and gave him the discouraging advice to wait several 
years before attempting to enter college, rather than accept 
of assistance. "Indeed, I believe I shall be compelled of 
necessity to follow his advice. I sometimes wish I had left 
ray present place of abode two months ago, when I had two 
excellent offers of doing so ; yet, as Mr. Evarts is absent, it 
was thought I could not leave the trust that he committed 
to me till his return." 

A little while after this, Mr. Evarts sent him an introduc- 
tion to the Education Society, and he wrote,"! have some 
hopes of entering college the next fall, if the Education So- 
ciety assists me, Avhether Yale or Middlebury I can not tell 
till Mr. Evarts returns. If God permits me to receive an 
education, I hope I shall serve him faithfully even unto 
death. I have made up my mind that if he spares my life 
I will be a missionary." 

5 



66 JOHN TODD. 

The fiill of 1818 saw him return from Charlestown to Con- 
Decticut in the same courageous spirit, and by the same mode 
of travel in which he had gone from his uncle's three years 
before — afoot, with his entire wardrobe under one arm, and 
his entire library under the other. 

"It was afternoon when I reached New^ Haven, and I went 
directly to the President's room. There I found President 
Day, and wdth him Professor Kingsley, and they proceeded 
to examine me without delay. They found that I was total- 
ly unfit to enter college, but, on becoming acquainted w\t\\ 
the circumstances of the case, they agreed to admit me, with 
the understanding that I was to apply myself to my studies 
with special exertion. It was late in the afternoon when I 
left the room. I was tired with a long morning's march, 
and tlie excitement of the examination. I had had no din- 
ner, and had but three cents in the world. Two of these 
were spent in paying toll at Tomlinson's Bridge, and with 
my last copper I walked till dark toward Guilford. When 
I could no longer see my way, I lay down under a cedar- 
bush and slept. Very early in the morning I woke, stiff, 
sore, and almost frozen. I reached my uncle's in the course 
of the morning. The college then required, as it does now, 
a bond from some responsible person that the student's col- 
lege bills shall be paid. I found that my uncle was unwill- 
ing to sign such a bond, as he feared, not unreasonably, that 
he w^ould have to pay my bills for me. In great discourage- 
ment I walked over to Killingw^orth, and told my brother 
Jonathan of my trouble. Now Jonathan was not worth one 
cent more than I w^as; but he was a noble fellow, and had a 
great heart, and as soon as he heard my story he exclaimed, 
' Give me the bond ; I'll sign it.' And so he did. I nevei- 
intended any deceit, but it has since occurred to me that 
probably my brother's signature was mistaken for that of 
the well-known Guilford physician, the names being the same. 
At all events, the bond Avas accepted, and at last I was a 
freshman in Yale College." 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 67 



CHAPTER V. 

LIFE AT COLLEGE. 

The young Fresliman. — A smart Class. — The first School. — Wet Stockings. 
— A Terror to Evil-doers. — A borrowed Hatchet. — The Sunday-school. — 
Little Lewis. — " Cast thy Bread upon the Waters." — A great Revival. — 111 
Health.— Correspondence with Doctor Lee. — Farewell to Hotchkisstown. 

The youDg freshman had undertaken a difficult task, and 
one which his friends tliought he could never accomj^lish. 
To sustain himself in Yale College without means or assist- 
ance, or even encouragement, and with so poor a prepara- 
tion as his, he needed a good deal of pluck. How much 
ambition and determination and energy he must have had, 
and what exertion he must have made, appear from the 
fact that he not only sustained himself in the face of such 
difficulties, but rose to a place of honor in a class of seventy- 
seven, among whom were many young men who have since 
proved themselves to have possessed distinguished ability. 
The class contained, among others of well-know^n eminence, 
Doctor Edward Beecher, its valedictorian ; Rev. Walter Col- 
ton, the eccentric but brilliant chaplain and author; Rev. 
John Maltby, long a pastor at Bangor; Rev. Jared B. Water- 
bury, D.D., once pastor of Bowdoin Street Church, Boston, a 
great friend of John Todd's in college, and his "other self;" 
Rev. Thomas T. Waterman, D.D. ; Rev. Horatio X. Brins- 
made, D.D. ; Isaac Townsend ; Doctor Benjamin B. Coit, one 
of the most skillful of physicians; Harvey P. Peet, LL.D., 
the eminent instructor of deaf-mutes; and Hon. John A. 
Rockwell, a lawyer of national reputation. 

In this crowd of then unknown young men, the poor stu- 
dent w^as merged, and at once lost to sight. He had a room 
in one of the college buildings like the rest, took his meals 
at the college commons like the rest, and studied and re- 
cited like the rest. But, unlike the rest, he had not a cent 
of money, or so much as the good word of a friend ; and 
therefore it was inevitable that he should before long come 



68 JOHN TODD. 

to the surface, and distinguish himself from the others by 
efforts for self-preservation. 

During his first winter in college he taught a school at 
Hotchkisstown, or Westville, as it is now called, about two 
miles and a half from college, walking back and forth every 
morning and evening, in all kinds of weather and states of 
the road, and keeping up with his class at the same time. 
An eye-witness testifies that often, after his long walk 
through the melting snow, he sat down on the college steps, 
and, taking off his shoes, wi-ung the water out of his stock- 
ings before going in to make a brilliant recitation. In the 
eftbrt to keep up with his class while thus employed, he se- 
riously injured his eyes with night study of Greek. 

"The next summer I took a school of wild boys in 

Street, and never missed a recitation all summer." In this 
school he obtained the reputation of being a severe disciplin- 
arian. It was the unanimous opinion of the scholars that 
he was " a terribly cruel man." One of them, a mere boy 
at the time, writing under impressions which have not been 
effaced in more than half a century, says : " I can see him 
nov)^ walking up and down among the desks, with his hair 
erect, his lips compressed, his spectacles firmly fixed, mend- 
ing a pen, and casting quick, fierce glances around, with a 
large ruler under his arm, having carved on it, in great, 
easily legible characters, the warning, 'a terror to evil- 
doers.' " Such severity was so foreign to all his native 
disposition, and to all his subsequently manifested charac- 
ter, that there must have been some special reasons for it. 
It may be that, as a sophomore, he maintained his dignity 
a little unnecessarily. But it appears that it was a very 
bad school, which had proved too much for more than one 
previous teacher, and it was necessary to govern with an 
iron hand until the question of mastership was settled. It 
was not long in settling. One day one of the worst of the 
boys hurled an inkstand at the young teacher's head. The 
missile missed its aim and bespattered the wall, not with 
brains, but with ink; and the I'ebel, seeing justice coming 
with determination in its eye, and "a terror to evil-doers" 
in its hand, hastened to leap out of a window, and never 
returned. Discipline and order once established, the mas- 
ter relaxed somewhat, and very pleasant relations sprung 



I 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 69 

np between him and the pupils. The late Hon. James F. 
Bahcock, of Xew Haven, who has already just been quoted, 
writes oi 2i dialogue in which he took part at the exhibition: 
"I ]-emember that it was an Indian affair — that there was a 
murder of some sort — and I held the bowl to catch the ebb- 
ing life-blood." 

During the fall vacation he taught a school in the town 
of Orange, then a part of Xew Milford, where he found 
some kind friends, with whom afterward, when sick and in 
distress, he had at one time a thought of taking refuge. At 
the end of the first year he had gained in position in his 
class, and had earned a hundred and sixty dollars. 

In so busy and hard-working a life he found, of course, no 
time or inclination to join in the usual college frolics. In- 
deed, he was too much in earnest and too sober-minded to 
engage in them himself; but his humor qualified him to en- 
joy observing them, and he often told of them in after-years 
with great relish. His friend, poor Walter Colton, had not 
his steadiness, but was always getting into scrapes, from 
which his friends with difficulty extricated him. It was at 
that time the custom for the division which was to recite 
. to enter the recitation-room before the instructor, and to re- 
main standing at their seats till he had entered and taken 
his place, and then to seat themselves simultaneously. One 
morning it was not noticed that the supports of the long 
benches had been cut away behind, leaving only just enough 
in front barely to hold them in position ; and of course when 
twenty men sat down at once on each bench, they all went 
over backward, and the legs of the whole division flew into 
the air with one accord. The authorities could not be ex- 
pected to pass over such an accident in silence, and, among 
the rest, Todd was called up, and asked if lie knew who had 
cut those benches. Too conscientious to lie, and too honor- 
able to betray a friend, he replied that he had some reason 
to think that he could conjecture who the culprit was, but 
he thought that he had done it in frolic, and not in malice, 
and he did hope that inquiries would not be pushed to the 
disgrace and ruin of a fine young man for a bit of fun. Mar- 
velous to relate, the authorities had the grace not only to 
desist from questioning him farther, but also to take his ad- 
vice ; and nothing more was said about it. The " reason" 



k 



70 JOHX TODD. 

which Todd had "to conjecture who the culprit might be" 
was that Walter Coltoii had borrowed his hatchet to do the 
mischief with. 

But the young student-teacher was engaged in too seri- 
ous work to enter much into such sports. And, besides, his 
tastes led him to employ what little leisure he had differ- 
ently. Finding that there were no religious services or 
privileges at Hotchkisstown, he at once started a Sunday- 
school, after the pattern of the one which he had helped 
organize in Charlestown. "At first the project was greatly 
ridiculed, and many opposed. But ridicule and opposition 
soon gave way to a good cause, and in a short time I had 
seventy scholars. The room in which we met was an un- 
finished chamber of a poor, lame woman — the only place 
that was offered. The floor was not nailed down, and nei- 
ther ceiling nor plaster had ever been seen in the chamber. 
The chimney passed up in the centre, and the bare rafters 
were over our heads. Yet never did I see brighter or hap- 
pier faces than among the little groups which I regularly 
met. ♦ 

" One hot Sabbath I had walked out to meet my Sabbath- 
school. The children were expecting me to give them, at 
the close of the lessons, a history of the holy Sabbath, from 
its first appointment, and to tell them why God appointed 
it, and what are our duties in regard to it ; for so I had 
promised them, and I had in fact prepared myself to do it. 
But being weary and ill, I told them that for these reasons 
I would defer it till the next Sabbath. While thus putting- 
it off, I noticed a bright little boj' sitting near me who 
seemed to look disappointed. He had expected to hear 
about the holy Sabbath. Oh, had I remembered how Christ 
taught the poor woman of Samaria, though he was weary 
and faint, should I not have done differently ? 

"The next Sabbath came, and my school were again 
coming together. On arriving at the house, instead of 
finding them all quiet in their seats as usual, I found them 
standing around the door, some sobbing, others looking 
frightened, all silent. On inquiry, they told me that 'Lit- 
tle Lewis had just been killed by the mill.' This was all 
^they knew about it. At the head of my little flock, I has- 
tened to the house where the little boy lived. For some 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 71 

weeks it had been very dry, and the streams had become 
low. But during the preceding day and night a heavy rain 
had fallen. A mill on a small stream near-by, which had 
stood still for some time for want of water, was set in mo- 
tion early on Sabbath morning. I need not ask if the mill- 
er feared God. About an hour before the Sabbath-school 
usually came together, little Lewis went down to the mill- 
stream to bathe. The poor boy had never seen his parents 
keep the Sabbath holy. He swam out into the stream. 
The current was strong, too strong for him ; he raised the 
cry of distress, the miller heard him and saw him, but was 
too much frightened to do any thing. The current swept 
along ; the little boy struggled, again cried for help ; the 
waters rushed on; he was sucked down under the gate; 
the great mill - wheel rolled around — crash ! — he was in 
a moment crushed and dead ! Scarcely had his last cry 
reached the ears of the miller before his mangled corpse 
came out from under the wheel. 

"I led my scholars into the room. They seemed to 
breathe only from the top of their lungs. I lifted up the 
white napkin, and — it was the same little boy who had 
looked so disappointed on the last Sabbath, because I omit- 
ted to talk about the Sabbath ! 

" I have never been able to look back upon that scene 
without keen anguish. And since I have been a minister, 
when I have felt weary and feeble, and tempted to put off* 
some duty to a more convenient season, I have recalled that 
scene to my mind." 

Among those who opposed the school was a gentleman, 
who for some weeks refused to permit his only child, a lit- 
tle girl of eight years, to attend it. " But as all her play- 
mates attended, and were delighted with the privilege, and 
as no bad consequences were seen, what by entreaties, and 
what by a kind request from her mother, it so happened 
that on the fifth Sabbath after the school was opened, little 
Clarissa was at school. She continued to attend regularly 
through the summer, and to improve very rapidly. It was 
at the close of a pleasant Sabbath in August, when the fa- 
ther called the child to him, and addressed her very mildly. 
' Clarissa, my love, are you not tired of going to that school ? 
I don't think you learn any thing — I mean any thing that 



72 JOHN TODD. 

you inulerstancl.' ' Oh yes, father, I do — a great many 
things; for to-day I asked my teaclier about tliat beautiful 
text, "Cast thy bread upon the waters, and thou shalt find it 
after many days;" and what, father, do you think it means?' 
'Why, chiki, it must mean that we ought to be charitable 
to the poor.' ' Yes, father, but do you know why it is like 
easting bread on the waters?' 'No, my love.' 'Well, my 
teacher explained it to me. He said that in the Eastern 
country rice and all kinds of grain are called bread, even 
before they are cooked. He said that every year the river 
Xile, and so of some other Eastern rivers, rose up high, and 
had its waters overflow its banks and all the country round. 
While the waters were thus covering the country, the peo- 
ple went out in their little boats and scattered their rice or 
bread on the waters. This was sowing it. It sunk down 
in the mud — the waters covered it. Yet the people knew it 
was not lost ; for in due time the waters went off", and then 
the rice sprung up, and they usually had great crops. This 
is casting bread on the waters; and true charity is just like 
it. Isn't it a beautiful verse, father?' 'Yes.' 'And don't I 
learn and understand what my teacher tells me?' 'You 
may go and tell it to your mother, my dear.' 

"Toward the close of the summer I was taken sick, and 
was obliged to leave the Sabbath -school and the college. 
As I was poor, the ladies of the neighborhood kindly made 
me up a small purse to bear my expenses. One evening 
little Clarissa came to her father with a very earnest look, 
and said, 'Father, will you please to give me a nine-pence?' 
'What will you do with it, my dear?' 'Oh, I want it very 
much, and will not waste it, father.' 'But what do you 
want it for?' ' I wish, father, you would please to give it to 
me without asking — I do want it very much.' 'I can't give 
my daughter money, unless she tells me to what use she is 
to apply it.'- 'Well, father, I fear you will not give it to 
rae, but I will tell you. You know that M)-. Todd, my school- 
teacher, is sick, and must go away. Oh, he has been so 
kind to me ! He is going away, and I am afraid I shall 
never see him again. I wanted to give him the nine-pence: 
you remember how he explained to me that beautiful text, 
"Cast thy bread upon the waters.'" The little girl sobbed, 
and a tear stood in the eye of the father. He put a bank- 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 73 

note in the hand of his child for lier sick teacher, and turned 
aside and wept. He thought how he had been taught a les- 
son of charity by his little child ; how he had opposed the 
very school where she had been thus instructed \ and how 
he had ever been supremely selfish and sinful. From that 
hour he became awakened, and was in great anxiety of mind 
for some time. He then found peace in believing." Thus the 
bread which the young teacher cast upon the waters in open- 
ing the school was found after many days; and he who reaped 
at once received wages and gathered fruit unto life eternal. 

At the beginning of the year he had joined the college 
church, by letter from the church in Charlestown ; and this 
relation was never sundered till his death. 

At just about this time there came to New Haven and 
the surrounding region a remarkable revival, one of a series 
of revivals which marked an era in the religious history of 
New England. "There Avas a wave of divine influence in 
those days sweeping through the land, the like of which, so 
far as I know, has not been witnessed since." 

"August 5th, 1820. 

"I am happy to state that there is considerable atten- 
tion to religion in New Haven. Meetings are frequent and 
crowded. Sinners are inquiring after Jesus. The voice is 
small, and very still, though not on this account the less 
powerful. Christians are awaking. With one or two ex- 
ceptions the work has not reached college, except as the 
brethren are much engaged. A general seriousness, how- 
ever, pervades college. We wish to be still, and pray the 
more. The church met lately, and many tears were shed 
over our backslidings. The Faculty feel the effects of re- 
ligion, and are engaged. Oh, sir, do you and your good 
people pray for our college." 

"August 15tli. 

"Dear C , — You have probably heard of there being 

considerable attention to religion in this place. I can not 
now give you particulars. I have many times seen a large 
conference-room crowded with young people, all as solemn 
as the grave; all, as it were, in an agony for their salvation. 
I hope to give you particulars hereafter. In the mean time, 
-I hope you will not be careless and indiflerent as to your 
own situation." 



74 JOHX TODD. 

" August 22d. 

"I would speak concerning the state of religion in this 
place, but I dare not : we stand in the most awful state of 
suspense ; a cloud seems ready to burst upon us, but Chris- 
tians will not pray with sufficient fervency to pierce it. 
Oh, pray for us ! pray for our college, pray for our college !" 

This revival was partly connected with the labors of 
the celebrated Doctor Asahel Nettleton, who visited and 
preached in New Haven at this time. 

" I recollect his preaching in the Centre Church, on Dives 
and Lazarus, w^hen the pictures he painted were so vivid 
that a great, strong student in the class above me told me 
that he thought he actually saw the spirit of Dives in prayer 
for his five brethren ! That student rolled in agony on the 
bare floor of his room all night, and it resulted in his hope- 
ful conversion. The Great Day alone can reveal the results 
of the life of Nettleton." 

"In this great revival," writes one of his classmates, "he, 
as well as Doctor Brinsmade, Doctor Waterbury, and oth- 
ers of the class, used to labor abundantly. I recollect par- 
ticularly his often going to attend meetings in Hotchkiss- 
town. He was much engaged in labors to save souls, not 
only among the college students, but everywhere as he had 
opportunity. One conversation with me, or rather exhorta- 
tion directed to me, while I was rooming with him for a few 
weeks, and was under deep conviction of sin, I shall never 
forget. I can remember no personal address made to me in 
that momentous crisis in my history that more deeply im- 
pressed me, or did more to bring me to a definite decision 
to be fully on the Lord's side." 

But all this hard study, and teaching, and religious labor 
and excitement, accompanied with exposure to the weather, 
and improper and insufficient fare, and unrelieved by a mo- 
ment's vacation, at last began to tell even upon his iron con- 
stitution. A neglected cold resulted in a settled cough and 
symptoms of the gravest charactei". As early as February 
he had begun to complain of ill health, and said, "Of all the 
places to be sick at that I ever became acquainted with, 
college seems the worst ; and for these reasons I can have no 
care taken of my health, and it is with the utmost reluctance 
that I can think of leaving off" my studies." 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 75 

A little later he conceived the idea of taking a journey 
for the benefit of his health in the approaching tall vaca- 
tion, on foot, of course, as he could not command the means 
for any other mode of travel. He had at that time a sister 
whom he had never seen, living in the northern part of Xew 
York, a woman of remarkable character and attainments — 
altogether the most brilliant member of the family. It oc- 
curred, therefore, to this sick and enfeebled student to icalk 
to this sister's and make her a visit, and return by way of 
his father's old home in Arlington, Vermont. Full of this 
idea, he opened, in June, a correspondence with Rev. Doctor 
Chauncey Lee, settled at that time in Colebrook, Connecticut. 
Doctor Lee had formerly been settled near Arlington, and 
had been an intimate friend of Doctor Timothy Todd. The 
first letter contained merely some inquiries respecting this 
friend and fiither, of whom the son knev\' but very little. 
In due time an answer was received, written in the kindest 
manner, giving to the son a detailed account of his father, 
of which much use has been made in this story. The second 
letter of the son betrays his real object in opening the cor- 
respondence; he asks for letters of introduction to any gen- 
tleman at or near Arlington on whom he had better call. 
" It is my wish to become acquainted with men and man- 
ners; and if there are any in Arlington who were acquainted 
with my father, perhaps they would not be unwilling to see 
his son." It is possible that the lonely and suffering and 
destitute student had a secret hope that his father's old 
friend would be sufficiently interested in him to put him in 
the way of getting some more substantial help than an in- 
troduction to "men and manners," or an invitation, at least, 
to stop at his house on the weary journey; but his letter 
contains no hint of it. In answer to Doctor Lee's fiitherly 
inquiries, he briefly sketches his hard career, and then ex- 
]ilains the object of his journey. "A constant and violent 
pain in my breast admonishes me that it is time to do some- 
thing for it besides studying. I have been advised by the 
professors and tutors to take a journey during the coming 
vacation. I have, for these reasons, concluded to take a 
journey on foot, the next vacation, 'to Malone, Xew York, 
returning by way of the Connecticut River; hoping by 
means of this exercise to restore my health. Perhaps, sir, 



7G JOHN TODD. 

you may smile at my plan, especially when I inform you 
that I have no money to defray the expenses of the journey. 
I am aware of fatigues and difficulties, but to these I am 
accustomed. I traveled from Boston to this college with 
fifty cents; and though during this journey I slept once 
under a fine cedar-bush, yet I am as well ofi* now as if I had 
traveled in a coach. I believe that loalking will be as likely 
to restore my health as any other means, and it is the least 
expensive. I go to Malone because I have sisters there 
whom I wish to see. Though the flesh shrinks at the 
thought of traveling six or seven hundred miles, destitute 
and among strangers, yet the spirit is undaunted. I would 
endure any fatigues for my old constitution." 

While waiting for the reply to this letter, he writes to 
his sister as follows : 

"Dear Charlotte, — I should give the exact state of my 
health if I knew what to say. A constant pain in the breast 
admonishes me to do something besides studying. The 
president of the college, together with the professors and 
tutors, advise me to take a journey or a voyage the coming 
vacation. I had thoughts of visiting Vermont fi^r the pur- 
pose of regaining my health, but I am not now able to walk 
so far; nor shall I be, at the close of the term, unless I am 
materially better. I would take a voyage, could I aflbrd 
the expense. Something, however, I must do, though I have 
not yet determined what. I do not know wdiether I had 
better spend the vacation in Guilford or not. I shall not 
be able to do much. Perhaps I could be upon the water 
some, and work on the farm. I shall not return to college 
again, after leaving it this time, till better. I have not, how- 
ever, omitted a recitation this term, and have seldom been 
in bed before twelve o'clock. We rise at five in the morn- 
ing. Our studies at this time are exceedingly hard. I pre- 
sume Jonathan is married before this time, as I hear nothing 
from him. I am very much surprised that he has not written 
to me ; but as people do not generally get married more than 
three times during their lives, I very willingly excuse him." 

A day or two after this was written a very kind letter 
was received from Doctor Lee, j^rotesting against his un- 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 77 

dertaking such a journey on foot in his state of healtli, in- 
viting and urging liim to come directly to him, as to "a fa- 
ther's and mother's liouse," and assuring liim that the in- 
terest awakened iu Colebrook by his letters would secure 
him possibly a horse, certainly a purse. 
To this the grateful student replied : 

"Rev. and very dear Sir, — Your letter of the 13th in- 
stant is now lying before me. I should have answered it 
immediately, but feared lest the ardency of youth and high- 
wrought feelings might tempt me to use expressions more 
hyperbolical than my cooler moments would dictate. When 
your letter arrived, I was about giving up the idea of my 
contemplated journey ; but you revived ray hopes, as a 
small shower from a benevolent hand revives the withered 
plant. Since I last wrote you my health has foiled fast. A 
continual cough, united with my disorder of the breast, se- 
verely afflicts me; and the gloomy cloud, which at first was 
hardly noticed in my sky, has continually been blackening. 
Before I proceed farther, let me assure you, sir, that I feel 
my heart, as it were, crushed, by the kindness of a people 
who never knew me. Ah, sir ! were I able to pursue my 
first plan, and to have gone my journey solus in- solo, my 
heart liad never shrunk from fatigues and hardships; but 
W'hen I see benevolence extending the charities that are sa- 
cred, my hand shrinks back, impelled by its own unworthi- 
ness. The feelings of a student are commonly sensitive; 
of a charity student, tender; of a sick charity student, the 
most delicate. Judge, then, how I felt while reading your 
letter — a letter not dictated by selfishness, nor written with 
the pen of indifference ; but a letter written by a pen dipped 
in benevolence, and guided by the fingers of love. I shall 

accept of your kindness, nor will I attempt to thank you 

I took the liberty to show your letter to President Day; it 
affected him little less than it did me. He feels much more 
alarmed about me than I do about myself, and advises me 
to leave college immediately, or to put myself under the 

care of Doctor . I have done neither. I am hindered 

from the latter by the fear of expense; and from the former 
because I wish to stay till after the examination. I shall 
then, if health permit, leave college a fortnight from next 



V8 JOHX TODD. 

Thursday iiigbt, and, if possible, be in Colebrook a fortnight 
from next Saturday. I know not that I shall be able to 
walk this distance in two days, especially as I shall have a 
great-coat and some few clothes to carry; but if not, I trust 
the Lord will provide for me. As to clothes for my journey, 
tell my dear mother Lee that I do not know that I shall 
need more than I have. The ladies in New Haven have 
been exc*eedingly kind to me. I shall wear a black suit 
which they gave me. This suit is much too good, but I 
have no other, and my next clothes must be made accord- 
ing to the plan adopted by the students in college 

I found three dollars inclosed from you. Oh, sir, when a 
minister gives to me, my heart aches. I fear you could not 
do this consistently with duty. It is the greatest present I 
ever received from an individual. I feel as though I was 
doing wrong to take it. Oh, it makes me feel little, it 
makes me feel ashamed, to live on the charity of others. 
I suppose I inherit too much of my father's independency 
of character, pride. Till I see you, thanks, tears, prayers. 
Adieu." 

This correspondence with Doctor Lee excited so much in- 
terest that it was at length published, in the absence, and 
without the knowledge, and very much to the annoyance, 
of the younger party to it. He attempted to suppress it, 
but in vain. It was reproduced in several editions. 

Before starting on his journey, he wrote to a lady in Hotch- 
kisstown, at whose house he had taken his meals while teach- 
ing there, and who had continued a faithful friend to him, 
often sending into his sick-room in college little delicacies 
and soothing draughts for his cough, and moving the ladies 
of her little village to interest themselves in his behalf. 

"Dear MADA:\r, — I can not content myself to leave town 
without dropping you a line, as the only pledge I can give 
of my remembrance, esteem, and gratitude. I have lived 
among strangers, and I have acquired friends among stran- 
gers ; but never did I feel as I now do on separating, and 
never more deeply lament the necessity which drives me 

again among strangers Many a year has rolled away 

since the sun first beheld me as a forsaken orphan, but He 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 79 

who feedeth the fowls of heaven has ever given me benefac- 
tors and friends, and I trust He has also given nie a heart 
susceptible of gratitude ; and if an orphan's prayers can 
ever reach the throne of Jehovah, these benefactors will not 

go unrewarded It is characteristic of some that they 

are willing to crouch and flatter at all times and at all 
places for the sake of a little temporal advantage, while 
others would rather die than receive any thing by way of a 
present. While I despise the meanness of the former, and 
pity the pride of the latter, I would take a middle course. 
And W'hile I would never beg unless misfortune had thrown 
me into the most forlorn situation, neither would I reject the 
kindness of friends when performed with a proper spirit. 
With this stift' preface, I would take this opportunity to ac- 
knowledge from the good people of Hotchkisstown the sum 
of |8 90, together with a pair of boots, two cravats, and the 
making of shirts, besides other kindnesses In the suf- 
ferings of the body, I would earnestly request the petitions 
of those who can pray, that I may be prepared and resigned 
to the will of Heaven. If it be consistent, I could have 
wished to spend my life in the service of Him who spent 
His for us. I had hoped, when prepared, to have taken my 
life in my hand, and to have spent my days beneath an In- 
dian or an African sun. Such are the calculations of man, 
and how different are the designs of God ! Though bitter 
be the cup, though gloomy the disappointment, though mys- 
terious are the footsteps of Jehovah, yet I would pra)^ for 
resignation, and put my trust in Him who is the Judge of 
all the earth, and who wdll do right. I can not close with- 
out adverting to a topic w^hich, I trust, lies near my heart. 
While your people are extending the hand of charity and 
relieving the wants of others, I can not but feel anxious lest 
they forget themselves. It is now a time to obtain the 'one 
thing needful,' and I do hope they will not put ofl" the sub- 
ject till it is forever too late, even till the door of hope is 
closed, and the voice of mercy is dumb forever. Accept, 
madam, my thanks for your personal kindness to me, as well 
as that of your family. I shall ever be under obligations to 
you. There are those whose unhappy lot it is to receive 
all their good things in this life, and I have lately trembled 
lest I shall be among this number. The privation of health 



80 JOHN TODD. 

is, indeed, a great affliction, but Providence often tempers 
our afflictions with mercy, and the sick-bed may often be 
soothed by the tender hand of charity ; and the footsteps of 
death, tliough appalling, may often be rendered less hideous 
by the kindnesses of friends. I return, then, the thanks that 
flow from an aching heart ; receive a tribute of my grati- 
tude as the only reward I can ever make you Should 

I attempt to say all that I feel, should. I tell of all the tears 
I have shed on being obliged to leave the endeared walls 
of college, ray letter would be protracted to a patience- 
wearing length. Should we not be permitted to meet again 
in this life, I pray that we may meet in a world where pain 
shall be unknown, and be permitted to walk in the streets 
of eternal da v." 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 81 



CHAPTER VI. 

LIFE AT COLLEGE — Continued. ^ 

A Thunderbolt.— An interesting Letter. — A Daniel come to Judgment.— A1 
Colebrook. — A Tune with a harsh Name. — Impressions of a Stranger. — On 
Horseback. — Grand Isle. — A buoyant Spirit. — A family Meeting. — Malone. 
— Return to College. — Advised to Leave.— A Ride on the Ice. — Brig ^yil^ 
liam. — A kind Family. — Glimpses of Slavery. — A Saturday-evening Note. 
— Scandalous Books. — A Pilgrim Horse. — Health Restored. — Mr. Herrick'? 
Pupil. — Staples' s Academy. — The Osbornes. — Graduation. 

''Lyman Beecher was a thunderbolt. You never knew 
where it would strike, but you never saw him rise to speak 
without feeling that so much electricity must strike. I 
have his memoir lying on my table. IsTo other man could 
sit for such a portraiture. No other family but his could 
make the life of a plain country minister as interesting as a 
novel, and as instructive as a work on moral philosophy. I 
have never yet met the man in whose presence, whenever 
I met him, I always felt so small, as in his. Settled in an 
obscure corner, remote from all the world, he soon burst out 
in his sermons on ' Dueling,' and ' The Government of God 
Desirable,' with a power that startled the land. There was 
an inward spring that drove the machine with a power often 
sublime, always effective, and wonderful in results. Beecher 
and Xettleton were the two great instruments in revivals, 
such as I have never seen equaled. But I took up my pen 
to give one or two reminiscences of the man. It was in the 
year 1820, when I was a member of Yale College, that the 
Spirit of God came down upon us with awful power. Mr. 
Nettleton was laboring in the city, and Professor Goodrich 
in the college. There were deep feeling, pungent convic- 
tions, earnest prayer, but for a time few conversions. Just 
at that time I was compelled to leave college on account of 
alarming symptoms of consumption. I was going north, 
and Professor Goodrich gave me a letter to carry to 'Mr. 
Beecher, of Litchfield.' The letter began thus: * Brother 
Beecher, do you know there is a revival in Yale College? 

6 



82 JOHN TODD. 

Do you know you have a son in college ? Do you know 
that we want your help at once, and that you must not de- 
lay to come ?' On knocking at his door, he himself met me. 
I gave him the letter, and, without hardly speaking to me, 
be ran it through again and again. ' So you are sick, and 
need advice. Well, we have Doctor Sheldon, than whom no 
more skillful man can be found. We will go there at once.' 
Over we went. The doctor examined me, and said — and it 
w\as not till yeai-s afterward that I knew how much it fright- 
ened my new friend — 'Young man, I will prepare you some 
medicine. I think it will help you ; but if it doesn't, look 
out !' From Doctor Sheldon's we went to Judge Reeve's 
house. With what awe I entered ! But I needed not, for 
I doubt whether Mr. Beecher ever thought of me while in 
the house. He had the letter about the revival in his hand, 
and he was there to talk it over with his friend. ' I think it 
will be my duty to go,' said he, ' very soon.' Already his 
soul was full of it. It seemed to absorb every faculty. After 
tea I went with him to what he called a ' conference meet- 
ing.' Just after taking a seat, some one handed him a slip 
of paper. He read it, laid it down, and commenced the serv- 
ices. I am not sure whether he performed all the service 
himself, but think he did. Beginning to speak, he stopped 
and picked up the little paper, and read it. It was some 
question in theology which he was requested to answer. 
There I first saw the man. He first stripped the subject of 
all that did not belong to it, and then examined, explained, 
and poured out a torrent of condensed, fiery argument and 
illustration, such as I had never heard before. I seemed to 
see *a second Daniel come to judgment.' He stood on a 
pedestal in my mind then, from which, to the close of life, 
he never descended. On going home after meeting, I went 
immediately, coughing, to bed. It was in a bedroom on the 
lower floor. After I was fairly in bed, he came and stood 
by me, and began to ask questions about the revival in col- 
lege. His son Edward, our first scholar, was a member of 
my class. Earnestly and minutely he questioned me about 
the work, about the meetings, the instruction that had been 
given, etc. ; and as he talked about it, the tears came down 
his cheeks like rivers. I never, in after years, saw him more 
moved. I went on my way, and he went down to the col- 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. . 83 

lege, and was the honored iustrument of helping forward 
one of the most glorious revivals with which Yale was ever 
blessed. I was not present, but heard. much about it. Into 
the hands of Edward, when his strong mind and heart beo-an 
to quarrel with the theology which his father preached, he 
placed Edwards's sermon on ' The Justice of God in the Dam- 
nation of the Sinner' — a powerful medicine, but in this case 
efficacious. From this time I seldom met him, perhaps never 
to speak to him, till he came to Boston. Then, being settled 
in Groton, and both he and myself much mixed up in the 
famous ' Groton Council,' for which he wrote the celebrated 
and masterly result ' On the Civil Rights of Churches,' I saw 
much of him. He preached my ordination sermon. His 
hand was laid on my head in the consecrating prayer. And, 
what pleased me, he never forgot my first introduction to 
him. To the very last time I met him, in his extreme old 
age, he would always take me by the hand and say, or its 
equivalent, ' Todd, I remember the first time I ever saw you, 
and I have loved you ever since. I remember going to Doc- 
tor Sheldon's with you.' " 

" Our young friend and correspondent," writes Doctor 
Lee, " arrived at our house on Tuesday evening, much sooner 
than he had proposed or we expected, his departure being- 
hastened by his failing health. We found him a very ob- 
serving, ingenuous, intelligent, affectionate, and interesting 
young man, and hopefully possessing the greatest of all ac- 
complishments — piety. His state of health was as critical 
as he had represented. The attending symptoms of pain 
in his breast, cough, and night-sweats were threatening ; so 
that our fears and hopes about his eventual recovery were 
equipoised. The account which he gave us of the rapid 
progress of the revival in Xew Haven was very animating, 
and the interest he appeared to take in it tended to endear 
him to us. In his countenance, figure, air, and manners, I 
recognized a resemblance of his father, the friend I once so 
highly valued, and whose memory will ever be dear to me. 
I put him under the care of our family physician, a gentle- 
man of experience and eminence in his profession, who pre- 
scribed for him, and attended to him while he staid. Dur- 
ing his continuance with us his health appeared stationary. 
He tarried till Friday morning, September 8th, and then 



S4 JOHX TODD. 

took his departure for Malone. I was happily successful in 
hiring him a horse, and obtaining for him by charity a suf- 
ficient sum to defray the expenses of his journey, and re- 
joiced much in being able to redeem the pledge I had given 
him in the promise of assistance." 

On parting with his young friend, Doctor Lee, who was 
something of a rhymer, put into his hands some amusing 
lines of advice, ending with an acrostic on his name. " This 
acrostic Mr. Lee had set to music, and he and his family 
used to sing it. The name of the tune was ' John Todd ;' 
yet, notwithstanding its harsh name, it was a delightful 
piece of music." 

At Doctor Lee's he had met a niece of his, Mrs. Bulkley, 
who became greatly interested in him; and at her invita- 
tion he stopped for a day or two at her house in Sheffield, 
Massachusetts, on his way north. An extract from a letter 
of hers to one of his sisters will show the kind of impression 
that he made at that time upon strangers : 

" Were I, my dear Miss Todd, to attempt expressing to 
you the high estimation with which I view your brother, 
the invaluable blessing I consider such a character to soci- 
ety, the loss that the Church of Christ would sustain by the 
removal of such a man, you might perhaps think my object 
was to gratify the feelings of an affectionate sister ; but this, 
I trust, would not be my motive. Your brother's merits and 
excellencies of character are too conspicuous to need the eu- 
logiums of any; they will soon be discovered by an impar- 
tial observer; and I do not hesitate to say, that few young 
men in our country rank so high, and I consider my acquaint- 
ance with him among the most fortunate events of my life." 

From Sheffield he pursued his journey northward, pass- 
ing, without knowing it, through the town where the best 
part of his life was to be spent, lingering a little and de- 
livering his letters of introduction in the neighborhood of 
his father's old home, and everywhere receiving attention 
and kindness, and then pushing on toward his destination. 
Sometimes he " rode forty-six miles in one day," and after 
it spent " a sleepless night." He kept a journal, also, in 
which he " wrote every night, at a public house, and often 
when too sick to hold a pen," and in which he made sketches 
of the objects which he found most interesting. 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 85 

"Did the reader never look with admiration upon that 
enchanting spot called Grand Isle, anchored oif as if cooling 
herself in the lake; while Plattsburg and St. Albans, like an 
eye in each state, Xew York and Vermont, seem to be cast- 
ing most coveting glances upon this water-nymph? If 
he has not seen all this, he has much pleasure before him, ' 
should he ever visit this delightful region. At the close of 
the day in early autumn, I rode up to a small tavern on the 
lower point of the island, just in sight of the pkce around 
which, during the last war, the British fleet hove on a bright 
Sabbath morning. There the cannon roared, the groans of 
death were heard, the blood reddened the waters, and the 
shouts of victory were heard — the victory of McDonough I 
I was standing in the little piazza, and calling to mind this 
strife of blood between two nations bound together by ev- 
ery tie, and between v>'hich no other feelings save those of 
mother and daughter ought ever to exist, when the land- 
lady came up, and asked me to step upstairs and see 'a 
poor, sick young man, a stranger.' 'Do you know who he 
is, or where he canie from ?' ' Xo, sir. He came across the 
lake a few days since, and when he rode up I thought he 
must be intoxicated. He could hardly sit on his horse; 
and when he stopped he rather fell off than got off*. He 
lias been here three days ; and though I have tried to coax 
him, yet he has eaten nothing but one soft Qgg a day since 
he came. The poor fellow tells me he has no friends, and 
I think he is not long for this world. He seems to be a 
very good man.' On entering the chamber, I found him on 
the bed, leaning on his elbow, and gazing out of the window 
upon the same spot at which I had just been looking. He 
seemed glad to see a new face ; told me his name was John 
Todd, a member of the junior class in college; that he had 
left college, as a last resort to gain his health, which had 
been prostrated by study. He was supposed to be in what 
is there called ' the galloping consumption,' had reached this 
spot, and here became too feeble to go farther. Others 
thought he was near the grave, and would never leave this 
place ; but he was cheerful, elastic, expecting to live and do 
much good. I shook my head, but did not shake his hopes 
or confidence. I never before saw a spirit so buoyant, so 
confident in the belief that God would use it as an instru- 



86 JOHN TODD. 

ment of usefulness to men. It seemed as if nothing short 
of the hand of death could crush or even repress this hope. 
He had a dreadful cough, and every symptom seemed dis- 
couraging. Even his hopes — were they not such as every 
consumptive patient cherishes ?" 

Having recruited his strength a little, he crossed the 
lake, and soon arrived at Malone. Here he found three of 
his sisters, one of whom he then saw for the first and only 
time in his life. His visit with them was a delightful one. 
It was long since so many of the scattered family had been 
together. But he seems to have formed an unfavorable 
opinion of the place. Writing soon afterward to his re- 
maining sister, with reference to an invitation from her sis- 
ters to join them, he says : " The country at Malone is en- 
tirely new. The roads are awfully bad, and a howling wil- 
derness bounds the prospect on every side. The society is 
new. It is composed of people collected together from all 
parts, and of all descriptions and characters. Their man> 
ners and customs, of course, are very w^idely different, and 
different from what we are accustomed to. The young men 
are generally active ,and enterprising, but they are clownish 
and almost savage. Their first plan, after marrying, is to 
spend three or foui* days in building a little log cabin. Here 
they live, having but one room, till the husband levels the 
forest around with his axe, and cultivates his farm. In 
about ten or twelve years they are able, if industrious and 
prosperous, to build a framed house, which is a great luxury. 
The young men are much more numerous than the young 
girls, and an old maid is a great curiosity. They dress very 
simply, and somewhat slovenly. I dressed as I usually do, 
in a black suit, and they thought me at first a fop of the 
highest order. Every man, with few exceptions, is either a 
colonel, a judge, a squire, or a captain, and yet there is not 
a man of liberal education among them. I do not recollect 
that I took any liberties in displaying what I knew, yet 
they thought me almost a prodigy of learning. I mention 
these things to give you an idea of the state of society at 
Malone. I think you would not enjoy yourself there. In 
looking over this scrawl, I am reminded of the Dutchman's 
letter. He wrote every thing that he could think of, and 
then added that he had not time to be particular." 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 87 

His stay iu tnis charming spot was short, as he was im- 
patient to return to his studies. His health had now begun 
to improve, so that when he reached Colebrook, on the 17th 
of October, Doctor Lee was able to write: "His threatening 
symptoms were gone ; his strength and appetite daily in- 
creasing. On Tuesday, the 24th, he left here in good spirits 
to resume his studies at college. Tkus our hopes are real- 
ized ; our prayers graciously answered." 

These appearances, howevei", were deceptive. Scarcely 
had he been at work for a week when he began to complain : 
"My health has not been so good. Last night was a very 
uncomfortable time. My cough is violent, though not so 
constant as before I went ray tour. President Day advises 
me to go immediately on a voyage to Europe; if not, to the 
South. I fear my health will compel me to leave soon, 
though I shall not as long as able to keep about. I room 
in the fourth loft, and find it hard to get up and down so 
many stairs." 

Just at this time he received a letter from his old friend 
Mr. Evarts, remonstrating wnth him against attempting to 
go on with his studies, and urging him to go South for the 
winter, find some position in which, by teaching, he might 
earn a little, and return the next year to join the class below 
him. The advice was accompanied with a gift of ten dol- 
lars. This letter struck " almost a death-blow" to his hopes. 
On his showing it to President Day, the president, under 
one of those impulses which led him to do so many quiet 
acts of kindness that were never known to many, seconded 
Mr. Evarts's advice, and added to it a gift of fifty dollars. 
Still the young student hesitated about taking the advice or 
the assistance. He could not bear to relinquish his studies. 
Two weeks after this he wrote : "I shall try to make myself 
as comfortable here as I can, and at this late season shall 
not think of leaving for the South. I know how disagree- 
able it is to be in a land of strangers, and destitute and sick ; 
and I know, too, that this would not restore my health. 
Should my health fail, and should I be as low as I was yes- 
terday and the day before, I shall leave college never ex- 
pecting to return." 

In a very short time, however, he was compelled to yield 
to the urgency of his friends. The winter was unusually 



88 JOHN TODD. 

severe, "shutting up our harbors at the North to an extent 
ahnost unjjrecedented," and his health and strength Avere 
rapidly giving way. "Just at evening, on a terribly cold 
day, destitute and sick, and bleeding at the lungs, I was 
drawn down the harbor upon the ice, by a sailor, upon a 
hand-sled, to go on board a brig which had almost cut her 
way into the open water. I had had no notice of the brig's 
departure till within an hour before I went down to go. I 
had letters of introduction from President Day and others 
of New Haven, from Mr. Evarts, and Father Lee." A purse 
had also been made up for him among his friends in Hotch- 
kisstown and New Haven. " My passage (brig William) 
was very short — four days ; but it was stormy, and there 
were high winds all the time. I did not see the sun while 
on the big waters. I was sea-sick, and kept my dirty little 
berth most of the time. It was on the Sabbath when I 
landed, not knowing, as I supposed, a single soul in Caro- 
lina. Walking up the street, I found myself opposite the 
Circular Church when the public service closed. The first 
individual that came out was my old acquaintance, Finley 
Morse, of Charlestown, Massachusetts. He took me at once 
to the house of the pastor of the Cireular Church, Rev. 
Doctor Palmer, to whom also I had a letter of introduction. 
In his family I was received with all the tenderness and 
kindness that parents could manifest." 

In a letter w^ritten to one of his brothers at the time, he 
says : " I was invited to stay all night. I did so, and here I 
have been ever since. Mrs. Palmer, though the mother of a 
large family, calls me her son. I have proposed to go to a 
boarding-house, but she has as yet forbidden me. Con- 
sidering her large family, and the many strangers who call, 
I am surprised that she is so good to me. I had hoped 
to obtain some employment here, but as yet have seen no 
opening. Should I not find any, I must go to Savannah or 
return to the North. I have an able physician, who daily 
visits me, though I endeavored not to call medical help ; but 
Mrs. Palmer was stronger than I. Doctor Whitridge has 
put me on what I call a rigid course of medicine; but he in- 
tends all for the best. The climate is very delightful at the 
present time ; it resembles the latter part of our May. The 
sight of beautiful gardens made yellow by oranges was novel 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 89 

to me. Oranges grow here very luxuriantly. Roses were in 
full bloom when I arrived. You may imagine, to come from 
our deep snows of the North, and in four days to find myself 
in so delightful a climate, was very strange to me. The 
ladies are generally drsssed in white. The negroes go bare- 
foot all winter." 

" February 3d. 
" Since writing the above, I have taken an excursion into 
the country on horseback with Doctor Palmer. Our ride 
was about thirty miles from the city, through a most dreary 
road. I have described it at large m my journal." (This 
journal, like the one kept on his trip to the North, is irre- 
coverably lost.) "My health is not much improved by the 
ride, though my spirits were somewhat exhilarated. I have 
had a good offer to take a school here, provided I would stay 
through the summer ; but my liealth and disposition forbid 
this. The offer was nine hundred dollars per annum with- 
out my board, or five hundred with it. I would accept it 
were my health good ; but as I am, I can not. I have agreed 
to give a young lady private lessons in the mathematics, for 
which she is to pay me thirty dollars for twelve weeks. 
Mrs. Palmer has kindly invited me to stay in her family a 
month, an invitation which I presume I shall accept." The 
result was that he remained in her fiimily about four months, 
or during his entire stay at the South. "My friends in New 
Haven gave me a handsome purse when I left, but every 
thing is very high here. I wear a Lycurgean dress alto- 
gether, which looks somewhat odd in this country; but you 
know our family love to be odd." Here follow minute 
directions as to the distribution of his furniture, books, and 
clothes among his friends, in case, as seems probable, he 
never return ; and then, with an amusing but characteristic 
change of tone, he adds : " Should I live, I shall return to the 
North by the 1st of June. Should this be the case, will you 
furnish me with a new hat? I will try to reward you for it. 
I trust, my dear brother, though I am many hundred miles 
from you, that you do not fail to pray for me, and that, too, 
often. You may wish to know how I like this country. I 
have not time to tell you now. Every thing here is different 
from what I had supposed when at the North. I do not think 
this a good place to acquire religion, though it is so to obtain 



90 JOHN TODD. 

ease and elegant manners. The slavery here shocks me." 
And well it might. More than once or twice he saw^ his kind 
liostess herself send a servant -girl to a public whipping- 
house, with a note designating the number of lashes which 
she wished administered. And very soon after his arrival 
public notice was given by the authorities of Charleston, 
to all ministers of the Gospel and other benevolent persons 
engaged in teaching the blacks to read, in night-schools, 
that they were violating the laws, and must desist. During 
this visit to the South he conceived a deep abhorrence of the 
institution of slavery, which he consistently maintained and 
frankly avowed all through his life, though he did not ap- 
prove of the measures of the early abolitionists, and pre- 
served too grateful a remembrance of Southern kindness to 
sympathize with their spirit. "You need not feel anxious 
about me ; I shall be well taken care of while I stay here. 
I am confident God can give the fatherless friends in any 
situation." Of this he experienced the truth most remark- 
ably. One Saturday evening, as he was reflecting somewhat 
despondently on his condition, the door-bell rang, and a 
note was brought to him. On opening the note, he found 
merely the words, "My God shall supply all your need," 
and a fifty- dollar bill. The missive proved afterward to 
have come from two excellent ladies of the name of Grimke, 
who had become interested in him. They belonged to the 
Society of Friends.^ and would have liked to proselyte him ; 
but he was not cut out for a Quaker. At another time the 
daughters of Doctor Ramsay sent him an order on a certain 
book-seller for books to a considerable amount. It was gen- 
erally expected among the good people who w^ere interested 
in him, that the young man who had dedicated himself to 
the ministry, and who seemed to be on the brink of eternity, 
would procure with the order some very pious and profit- 
able works; and they were not a little scandalized when 
they found that, among other books of a scarcely more theo- 
logical character, he had chosen a copy of Shakspeare. 

At the end of about four months, when it began to be hot, 
and his health seemed almost restored, his friends in the Cir- 
cular Church made up a purse of a hundred dollars, and 
bought him a horse, with saddle and bridle, and sent him 
away with kindest wishes. In the year 1860 he revisited 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 91 

Charleston, having been invited to a council called to settle 
a pastor over the old Circular Church, which is of the Con- 
gregational order. In beginning his " charge " to this pas- 
tor, he briefly recapitulated the story just given, and added: 
"As a matter of taste merely, this personal incident should 
have been omitted ; but may I not be excused for referring 
to a burden of gratitude which has been lying on my heart 
for forty years, and which will not be taken off even now? 
It is the first opportunity in all these long years I have had 
to make my acknowledgments; and now, the kind and noble 
ones whose faces I would recall are mostly among the dead ! 
Their record, I am sure, is on high." 

His route homeward brought him near the Xatural 
Bridge, in Virginia, and other points of interest, which he 
visited, and after his return described in some articles which 
were among the first that he ever published, and were so 
well received that they were very soon reproduced in Eu- 
rope. These sketches are the only memorials of his long and 
lonely ride. His horse, which he had named " Pilgi'im," 
proved to be a losing investment; for, having been broken, 
as many Southern horses are, to the saddle only, his excel- 
lences were not appreciated at the Xorth, and his owner, 
when he no longer wanted him, was obliged to sell him for 
sixteen dollars. 

The 1st of June found the student who had been sent 
away to die back in his class in college again, and " buried 
in studies." The worst symptoms of his disease had almost 
disappeared, but he was still far from well, and the closeness 
wnth which he now applied himself to his work was unfavor- 
able for his complete restoration. " I study all day and till 
half-past eleven at night, take no exercise, and rise at half- 
past four in the morning. It is not strange that he became 
low-spirited, nervous, and miserable. He was determined 
to maintain his standing in his own class, and not drop into 
the next class and lose a year, if he could help it. 

In the midst of his despondency, one cheering piece of in- 
telligence came to gladden him. Charlotte, who was near- 
est and best known to him of all his sisters, had become a 
Christian. His letter to her is worthy of being read, as giv- 
ing not merely his theory of religion, but the theory which 
he put into his own practice: "I hear what God has done 



92 JOHN TODD. 

for Guilford, and my heart rejoices. And has he redeemed 
the soul of my sister? Oh, this is more than I could ex- 
pect, or dared to hope. I can not tell you my feelings. 
Ah, Charlotte, how much do you not owe to God ! Will 
you not devote your time, your talents, and all your facul- 
ties to the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom ? Your 
opportunities have been great, your advantages great, and 
much will reasonably be expected of you. Dare to do good. 
But rest not in your own strength. You have but just en- 
tered upon a school in which you are to be instructed 
throughout eternity. Let the Scriptures be your constant 
guide. Read them often ; pray over them ; consult them as 
you would a chart, were you a sailor. Strive not only to 
be a Christian, but to be an eminent Christian ; not only to 
do good, but to do much good. You can not be a Christian 
without letting your benevolence be an active principle. 
As well might you catch the beams of the sun and weave 
them into the mantle of midnight as to enjoy religion w^ith- 
out trying to do good to others. I hope you will ever cul- 
tivate the religion of the closet. It is here our joys and our 
sorrows, our light and our darkness, commence. Pray and 
meditate by yourself every morning and every evening; 
never omit it, unless you would ruin your soul. I do re- 
joice I have a sister near me now who can enter into my 
joys and sorrows, and feel with me. Oh, could I see my 
sister and friends but for a moment, it would rejoice my 
heart much — a heart that is almost withered among stran- 
gers. I send you a gold piece, which is in value five dollars. 
It was given me for writing a piece entitled 'The Orphan,' 
which has been printed in several publications. I calculated 
to have kept this piece of gold as a kind of pocket-piece, 
but I find I love you too well." 

During his last year in college he came out of the straits 
somewhat into a broader place. His studies were easier, 
and he had made up for his lost time, and his standing in 
the class had become secure. His health was very much 
better, and he began to show it. He exchanged the stoojy 
with which his friends had often found fault for an erect 
and manly carriage. Having more leisure, he cultivated the 
friendship of his classmates; and they were surprised to find 
the hurried, laborious, abstracted, and sickly scholar so genial 



I 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 93 

and agreeable. One of his classmates writes: "Until the 
last year he was not as well known by his classmates as 
others, though he had more acquaintance with the ladies of 
Xew Haven than almost any one else," This was in part 
owing to the fact that his circumstances were such as to ex- 
cite their sympathy and benevolence. Among the ladies 
who befriended him was a Mrs. Denison, who had two daugh- 
ters, into whose society he naturally fell. The elder of these 
daughters, Mary, was an interesting and brilliant young lady, 
very generally pleasing to men of education. It was whis- 
pered by the gossips that this young lady and Mr. Todd 
were very intimate. It is certain that he admired her, and 
equally certain that there was no more serious feeling on 
either side. She married and removed to Xew York State, 
and her history was not a happy one. A more important 
acquaintance was made by Mr. Todd, while teaching for a 
few weeks in Rev. Charles Herrick's school. Here he saw, 
for the first time, the one who was to exercise most influence 
upon all his subsequent career. She was at that time a pupil 
in that school ; and her only recollection of the young teach- 
er amusingly illustrates that taste for the pathetic, and love 
of making people feel bad, which was one of his striking 
characteristics, and which led some one to say at his funeral 
that the only consolation of the occasion was, that he was 
not there to conduct the exercises himself, for no one could 
have endured it. She says that, though he had only been 
teaching in the school for a few days as a substitute, yet, on 
the last morning of his being there, in conducting the devo- 
tions of the school, he read that chapter of Acts which de- 
scribes the parting of Paul from the elders of Ephesus, and 
their sorrow that " they should see his face no more," and so 
skillfully treated the parallel that aU the girls cried! Dur- 
ing this senior year he wrote quite a number of brief articles, 
which were first published in the Seamoi's Magazine^ and 
the best of which were afterward collected in a little volume 
called " Simple Sketches." 

In the spring of the senior year he left college, many 
weeks before the close of the term, to take charge of a school 
in Fairfield, in the village of Weston. 

"I have the honor to be the preceptor of Staples's Acade- 
my, established in this place, and have consequently been 



94 JOHN TODD. 

closely confined ever since I came here. My school is not 
very large as to numbers, but is laborious. Most of my stu- 
dents are studying Greek, or Latin, or French, and some of 
them all three. My time, however, is almost out, as I have 
but a few more weeks to stay. I have been urged to stay 
another year, but for various reasons think I had better not. 
My wages are not very great, but I receive my wages in 
money, without any trouble of collecting. I receive two 
hundred dollars for twenty-four weeks' services. I could 
receive five hundred dollars for the coming year, if I could 
think it my duty to stay here ; but as I do not, I shall leave 
as soon as my time is expired. By the aid of the two hun- 
dred dollars which I earn this summer, I shall be able to pay 
ofiT all my college debts, and have about sixty or seventy 
dollars left. It is now my intention to go immediately upon 
the study of theology, in which study I expect to spend 
the three coming years, should I live so long. Perhaps I 
might get licensed to preach in less than three years ; but I 
wish to have my education as complete as possible. I am 
undetermined where to spend the next three years. I shall 
either stay at New Haven, or go to Andover, Massachusetts. 
Both places afford good advantages. Andover is so cold 
that I fear for my health, but it is cheap living there. New 
Haven climate is more congenial to my constitution, but not 
at all agreeing with my purse. I must, however, determine 
soon whither I go, as I expect to commence study in about 
five or six weeks. You may wonder how I am to support 
myself while burrowed up three years more; indeed, I al- 
most wonder myself; but as I have always got along well, 
so I thinli I shall in future. I have many friends who would 
almost give me their eyes if I needed them ; and I hope 
among some of these good friends to borrow money as I 
need till I get my profession." 

At Weston he first boarded for a time with the minister ; 
but the family being large, and his situation not altogether 
agreeable, a place was found for him in the family of Mr. 
Jeremiah Osborne, the father of the late Judge Osborne, 
of New Plaven. Mr. Osborne lived in a fine house in afiiu- 
ence, and the family did every thing in their power for the 
young teacher. The two daughters especially were really 
sisters to him ; and not only during his service at Weston, 



LIFE AT COLLEGE. 95 

but through his entire theological course, and till he had 
a home of his own, he always found a welcome and a home 
wuth the Osbornes. It was a kindness which he never for- 
got. During his residence with them, his health, though im- 
proved, was far from established. He would often return 
from the academy pale and weak, so that he would have to 
sit down and rest before ascending the steps, and would 
then go to the table, and eat a few little things very spar- 
ingly. And this was his habit all through life. He was an 
exceedingly small eater. Meat he abhorred : with the ex- 
ception of now and then a favorite dish, his taste was simple 
and his appetite delicate, and often he would leave meal 
after meal untouched. Though his consumptive symptoms 
gradually left him, his constitution always felt and showed 
the effects of the disease. He was never a w^ell and hearty 
man. 

A short time before the expiration of his service at Wes- 
ton, he took a week's vacation, and went over to New Haven 
to take his degree with his class. He had accomplished his 
purpose. In spite of poverty and sickness and hard work, 
he had gone through the course without delay, and out of a 
class of seventy-seven was one of the few appointed to speak 
on the commencement stage. His dissertation in the after- 
noon was on "The Influence of a High Standard of Attain- 
ment." There was but one thing to mar his triumph. He 
had only a brother and sister present to share it with him ; 
and when his classmates had dispersed, and he had no longer 
a place within college walls, he was once more alone, and 
without a home in the world. 

This story of a desperate struggle for an education may 
fittingly close with the following letter, written many years 
afterward : 

" Pittsfield, April 5th, 1853. 

"Dear Sir, — For reasons which will be obvious (I was 
educated at Yale,, and am a trustee of Williams), I would 
advise you to go to Yale or Williams. They are both 
good, but Yale is very expensive, while Williams is moder- 
ate. I think if I were poor, and had to feed myself with 
one hand and hold my book with the other, I would go to 
Williams. However, a man who idlls it can go anywhere, 
and do what he determines to do. We must make our- 



96 



JOHN TODD. 



selves, or come to nothing. We must swim off, and not 
wait for any one to come and put cork under us. I con- 
gratulate you on being poor, and thus compelled to work ; 
it was all that ever made me what little I am. Made vir- 
tute. Don't flinch, flounder, fall, nor fiddle, but grapple like 
a man, and you'll be a man. Yours, truly, 

" J. Todd." 



LIFE AT ANBOVEH. 97 



CHAPTER YII 

LIFE AT AXDOYEK. 

Andover Hill.— Doctor Porter.— Doctor Woods.— Doctor Stuart.— Doctor 
Murdock. — Quiet Life. — A Letter of Introduction. — Preaching -without a 
License.— Qualities of a Minister's Wife. — Memories. — The first Sermon. 
— North Andover. — The Blind Student. — A solemn Contract. — Loves to 
Preach. — A pedestrian Tour. — Osborneville. — Expectant Friends. 

"It is now a little over fifty years since, after a cold ride 
OD the top of the stage, I found myself in Andover. A 
short examination of my papers and attainments, and I was 
a member of the seminary. Those who now see 'Andover 
Hill,' with its beautiful buildings, its graded walks, its 
splendid trees, and profusion of beautiful things, can have 
DO idea how dreary, comparatively, it looked then." He 
had finally selected Andover as the place of his theological 
training — partly from motives of economy, and partly from 
dislike to Xew Haven theology. He went to the seminary, 
therefore, almost directly from Weston, in the fall of 1822. 
His entrance into the seminary was like the coming of a 
ship out of a stormy sea into the smooth waters of a harbor. 
His debts were paid, and though he had but a few dollars 
to live upon, he had an established reputation and charac- 
ter, and a host of friends. He was no longer a friendless, 
penniless orphan boy of unknown abilities struggling for an 
education, with little prospect of success. His health, though 
delicate, was much improved, and was becoming daily more 
confirmed. He had now nothing to do but to devote him- 
self to the peaceful life of the seminary. So still was the 
life, and so absorbed in it was the student, that for several 
months hardly an incident of interest occurred to disturb 
its uniformity. 

There were fewer seminaries then than there are now, 
and Andover was a place of great religious importance. 
The classes were large — that which Mr. Todd entered num- 
bered fifty- one — and the professors were men of distin- 
guished reputation. They were all of them greatly re- 



98 JOHN TODD. 

spected and beloved by Mr. Todd, and gratefully remem- 
bered by him as long as he lived. His discriminating 
sketches of them, made after a year or two of acquaintance 
with them, and hardly changed by the judgment of later 
years, show the nature of tlie influences under which he was 
formed and trained, and the characters of the men who left 
their impress upon him. 

" Doctor Ebenezer Porter, professor of sacred rhetoric, is 
a gentleman in his manners — rather tall, slim, graceful in 
movement, mild and winning in looks, with a voice not ca- 
pable of great compass, but finely modulated, and musical to 
a high degree, and so managed that his whisper will reach 
every ear in the house. He thinks slowly, and speaks still 
more slowly ; deliberates well before he pens or utters a sen- 
tence, but when he has once got it out, it is ijerfect^ so far as 
language is concerned. His mind is so disciplined, that he 
can write just so much in a given time without depending on 
wind and weather. He is generally a good judge of charac- 
ter. He must be, and is, our model as a preacher, and often 
far too much so. That this necessity of drawing all eyes 
upon him makes him more or less artificial, I shall not deny. 
We all prick up our ears when we see him go into the pul- 
pit on a Sabbath morning. Those who heard him preach 
his sermon on the decision of Nehemiah, as he brought out 
at the end of every picture, ' He went on building,' will 
never forget the deep impression made. It seemed like the 
striking of one of the great bells of Moscow, sending out its 
notes long after the tongue had become quiet. He is clear, 
gentle, decided, and evangelical." Of all the professors, 
Doctor Porter was the one to whom Mr. Todd became most 
strongly attached, and with whom he came to stand' in the 
closest personal relations. 

"Doctor Leonard Woods, professor of theology, is tall in 
stature, finely proportioned, with a mild, pure, gray eye, and 
a calm, gentle, patient, and thoughtful face. He is the great- 
est thinker I ever saw. His mind is a complete laboratory 
of metajjhysics. He has no glare, no quickness, no flashes; 
but he is always interesting, always correct, always unan- 
swerable. He is like a good, strong, iron-sided horse, which 
goes on a strong, heavy trot, with the same gait, always 
keeps the same pace up hill and down, never starts or 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 99 

])lunges, is never antic. He knows but little about rheto- 
i-ic, little about languages; but you may let Demosthenes 
thunder at him, and pile all Germany with their philology 
upon him, and you will not move him. He must reason the 
subject out, and reason is the only weapon which he can be 
made to feel. He does not surprise us by startling origi- 
nality or new theories, or giving new names to old things. 
But his thoughts are clear as distilled water. There is no 
color in his light, but he has the power of throwing off all 
that is extraneous in the subject in hand; then of holding it 
up patiently and carefully in the light of the Bible, and un- 
emotionally urging his views with logic unsurpassed. He 
i-eads human nature admirably. The reverence that he pays 
to the Bible is deep and earnest. He ever teaches that what 
the sun is to the earth — light and heat — that the Bible is to 
the Church. 

" Doctor Moses Stuart, professor of sacred literature, is a 
tall, slim man, with a musical and sonorous voice, who holds 
his audience entranced. He is no such horse as I have 
mentioned ; for if you make him a horse, you must now make 
him a war-horse, and, with Job, clothe his neck with thun- 
der, rushing upon the pikes of the enemy, and now rearing 
and plunging like a colt newly harnessed. He carries an 
enthusiasm in his nature that would open a mine of quick- 
silver in the most barren mountain. He has a sort of mag- 
netic power, never wanting, by which the whole seminary is 
lighted up into his region of thought and study. He cer- 
tainly is a great man, and has a prodigious force of mind. 
His soul is always bounding and burning. If with this ever- 
lasting go-forward of his he was well balanced with judg- 
ment, he would be a giant. I ever admire him, always feel 
delighted and kindled when in his company, but never feel 
that his i]jse dixit is safe to follow without re-examination. 
He is like our five-hundred-year comet, bright, fiery, daz- 
zling, but so eccentric in its orbit and so rapid in its course 
that you have difficulty in calculating its progress. He is 
always modest, never deciding what the Scriptures ought to 
teach, but what they do teach. His reverence for the Word 
of God is most remarkable; and I remember his saying to 
me, 'Light comes from above; you will get more light on 
the Scriptures by prayer than in all other ways ; look up.' 



100 JOHN TODD. 

He is a decided dyspeptic; and I have no doubt that he 
often mistakes the miseries of a weak digestion for the hid- 
ings of God's face. But, when the clouds are lighted up, 
and he feels well, happy is the pupil that can walk and talk 
with him; and, above all, awed and delighted all are when 
in prayer he comes to the. atonement of the cross. His face 
fairly glows, and reverence, and awe, and admiration, and 
love seem to swell up in his heart, and come out in tones 
and words such as I never heard from other lips. I look 
back to the influence he had upon me with deep gratitude, 
and his voice still sounds in my ears like the music that 
floats over the still waters in the dusk of evening from some 
island whose form you wish you could see. 

"Doctor James Murdock, professor of ecclesiastical his- 
tory, is a little, apple-faced man, gentlemanly in his manners, 
agreeable in his conversation. He is master of more litera- 
ture than any of the others. He is at home in Greek, He- 
brew, and German. He has a strong memory, and his head 
is a complete repository of all the facts, events, names, and 
dates in the world. He is the most instructive man in con- 
versation that I have ever seen." 

Such were the men who for three years guided and mold- 
ed him. They were men of extraordinary enthusiasm in 
their several departments, and the time was that in which 
the conflict between Unitarianism and orthodoxy was at its 
height, and the controversy between Channing and Ware, 
on the one side, with Stuart and Woods and Beecher, on the 
other, was awakening echoes in every village. Hence there 
were an excitement and enthusiasm aroused in the seminary 
such as have hardly existed since. Into all this the eager, 
earnest young student threw his whole soul, at once delight- 
ing in and not a little increasing the fervor. 

For .the first year, however, he was scarcely drawn into 
this excitement. He was in the lowest class, and his studies 
were of a quiet character. Only one event occurred of any 
importance, but that was destined to exert a greater influ- 
ence upon his life than almost any other. Among his col- 
lege memories, the recollection of one whom he had seen for 
a few days in Mr. Herrick's school was one of the brightest 
and most carefully treasured. Midnight studies of Hebrew 
had not efiaced from his mind the fair image of Mary Brace. 



LIFE AT AXDOVEE. 101 

And so, in June, near the close of his first year in the semi- 
nary, he found or made an errand to Hartford; and finding 
himself accidentally in the neighborhood of Newington, he 
obtained from a young minister who had met Rev. Mr. 
Brace, but had almost no acquaintance with him, a letter of 
introduction. 

" New Haven, June 6th, 1823. 
"Dear Sir, — Will you allow me to introduce to your ac- 
quaintance Mr. John Todd, a student from Andover, and 
now on his return. Should he find it in his way to call on 
you, you will find him an agreeable and intelligent visitor, 
and ready for any good work you may propose to promote 
the cause of the Redeemer among your people. As we stu- 
dents in theology like to form acquaintance among the min- 
isters of our country, you will excuse the liberty I have 

taken to make my friend, Mr. T , acquainted with you, 

although you may be hardly able to recollect me. 

"Your afiectionate friend, ." 

Armed with this precious document, Mr. Todd did "find 
it in his way to call " on Rev. Mr. Brace, "ready for anv 
good work," more especially that of making himself agree- 
able to his eldest daughter. His reception was such as 
might possibly have discouraged, not to say dismayed, a 
less determined suitor ; but it was of no use : he had made 
up his mind, and the garrison might as well have surren- 
dered at once without farther parley. In the course of a 
stay of a few days he did contrive so far to break through 
the reserve as to obtain the unwilling consent of all parties 
to the opening of a correspondence, and with this victory he 
retired. One of the first letters of this correspondence states 
very frankly the object to which his life is to be directed : 

"From the very nature of my situation and circumstances, 
I know not what is before me in life. I know not, and I 
care not, where my life is spent ; and, if the good of the 
Church demands it, I care not how soon it is spent. My 
object in living is but one — to do good. To this every sub- 
ordinate desire, every panting of ambition, every longing 
after fame, must and shall be subjected." 

During this vacation, while sojourning temporarily in a 
small village, Mr. Todd was called upon one evening to 



102 JOHN TODD. 

make some remarks before a small gathering of persons for 
religious worship. He did so ; and, on returning to Ando- 
ver, was severely reprimanded by the Faculty, who rigidly 
enforced the rule ^gidnst preaching without a license. They 
required him to make in their presence an expression of con- 
trition for this misdemeanor. Without demurring in the 
least, Mr. Todd rose from his seat, and, with a countenance 
expressive of the deepest sorrow and with downcast eyes, 
delivered himself as follows: "I, John Todd, in the presence 
of this august assembly, with feelings of the deepest contri- 
tion and repentance, do express my most heartfelt regret 

and sorrow for having (on such a day) in the village of , 

in a small school-house, exhorted the people to repentance, 
and to seek their eternal salvation through God; and of 
such a crime may I be pardoned." 

Soon after the beginning of the second year in the semi- 
nary, he writes: "I am now pleasantly situated, in a cold 
climate, but in a warm room, four stories high, whence I can 
look off on the cold mountains, and see even the Monadnock. 
As you may suppose, I am buried up in theology. I am 
much driven in study. My class recites three times a week 
in theology, once in Hebrew, once in Greek, and attends 
three lectures, sometimes four. Besides this, I belong to 
four different weekly societies which meet evenings. In ad- 
dition to this, I have now the appointment of writing a dis- 
sertation of one hour in length, to be delivered before the 
Society of Inquiry, respecting missions. This society em- 
braces the whole seminary. My object will be to prove 
that the Gospel, since the Resurrection, has never been prop- 
agated in any country except by means of foreign missions. 
This will require great research and critical investigation. 
I have not yet begun, though I have thirty-five octavo vol- 
umes, of which ten are in French, in my room, for my first 
leisure. It must be ready in eight or nine weeks." 

In the midst of his studies and societies, Mr. Todd found 
time to do a good deal of literary work. He wrote, and 
published anonymously, an article on Swedenborgianism, 
which made great commotion, and excited much indignation 
among the believers in that mystery. He was also intrusted 
with the superintendence of the publication of a little work 
by Doctor Woods. It was his full purjDose to engage largely 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 103 

in such work in his future life, and not to content himself 
with the sphere of a parish. And in these plaus he sought 
to interest her whom by this time he felt encouraged to as- 
sociate with them. "You need not that I tell you that a 
minister's wife is often as useful as the man himself. Your 
own good motiier has taught you this by her example. She 
can be active herself, and by example and precept she can 
do immense good among the people of his charge. Add to 
this, she is to be the adviser of her husband, is to sympathize 
with him in his sorrows and trials, to cheer him under dis- 
couragements and despondency, to check all his improprie- 
ties, to mend his weaknesses, to soften all his aspei-ities, to 
help him grow in piety and holiness. You will, doubtless, 
find many frailties in me. My pride you must turn to hu- 
mility; my ambition you must curb and restrain. If I live, 
I intend to own a good library, and to be a student through 
life. I can not think of treading the mere path of parochial 
duties. I hope to be diligent, active, persevering. To this 
object I am now bending ray studies and the discipline of 
my mind. My situation and disposition are such that I 
never expect to be rich. I hope to be comfortable, and 
never to be parsimonious. As to my natural talents, being 
such a* God has given, it becomes me neither to be proud 
nor ashamed of them. 

"As to your teacher's mnemonics, I perfectly detest them. 
I studied them once, and wasted my. time and strength. I 
do despise that littleness of mind and soul that can concen- 
trate the powers of immortality upon the points of needles. 
I can not, will not, be playing in the shell of a mustard-seed 
when I may rise and survey the universe. 

"My chum and myself have sent to Boston and procured 
a pair of battledoors and three winged attendants, with 
which we practice for half an hour in our room after breakfast 
and dinner. I find this exercisie exceedingly valuable. As 
you enter our room you see it is square, and the floor paint- 
ed yellow. Here you find my chum and myself each bend- 
ing over a portable writing-desk laid upon two marble-col- 
ored tables. You see our room ornamented with four pretty 
chairs, a beautiful mahogany bureau, large mirror — all fur- 
nished by the munificent Mr. Bartlett. All the rooms in this 
buildinsr are furnished alike. Xothing: could add to our con- 



104 JOHN TODD. 

venience if we had a carpet. But this is of little conse- 
quence." 

"February 14th, 1823. 

"I have iust besfun mv first sermon. You will find the 
text in Psalm cxxxvii., first three verses. I suppose it will 
be but a coarse piece of work, like the first productions of 
the apprentice." 

" March 6tli. 

" I think I have told you how I go out every Sabbath even- 
ino: to hold meeting:s in a distant neigjhborhood. It is situ- 
uated in Andover, a few miles from the seminary." The 
ban had by this time been removed, and, though not regu- 
larly "licensed," members of the middle class were allowed 
to preach with permission of the Faculty. "There is some- 
thing of a revival among my little flock; five or six are hop- 
ing in Christ, and many are anxious. You would be inter- 
ested could you see them, after I have closed my meeting, 
come around me and express their afiection for me. Last 
Sabbath evening they came clustering around me, and some, 
w^th tears, who have lately obtained hopes of eternal life, 
declared that my preaching to them was the means, under 
God, of awakening them; and when I saw one or two drunk- 
ards among them, I could hardl}^ help weeping myself Four 
families among them have lately commenced family 2:)rayers, 
and several are still anxious." 

"April 2d. 

"A student has lately come, perfectly blind, to become a 
minister. I go and read and converse with him an hour ev- 
ery day. He has imbibed an idea that ray hour is raore val- 
uable to him than any other one. I suppose it is because I 
feel most deeply for him." 

The reserve with which Mary Brace had at first received 
the abrupt addresses of the young student had long since 
given way, first to interest, and then to a more tender feel- 
ing ; and now, on the 5th of May, her eighteenth birthday, 
the two parties drew np and signed a formal contract of 
engagement, by which, " relying on the goodness of God 
through the merits of Christ," they " unhesitatingly gave 
themselves to each other, in the most solemn and tender 
manner in their power." The young lady was considered 
remarkably beautiful and attractive in person, manners, and 



LIFE AT AXDOVER. 105 

character ; and there had been not a few plans laid for her, 
and not a few attempts made to prejudice her and her 
friends against her poor lover; but his determined and per- 
sistent " readiness for any good work" had disconcerted and 
overcome her own and all other opposition, and, as usual, he 
won the day. Marriage was, of course, deferred " till cir- 
cumstances should render it convenient." 

The following Sabbath was spent in Xew Haven. " They 
have a very interesting Sabbath-school here, containing be- 
tween three and four hundred children. They till the gal- 
leries of the Middle Church. I visited the school yesterday 
morning. The superintendent wished some one to address 
the scholars, after the lessons were recited. But no one 

would speak. J refused, M refused, C refused, 

a Princeton student refused because he was afraid of us 
Audoverians. So, after all, I had to do it myself. I told 
the children and teachers a short story, made them inter- 
ested, drew a practical inference or two, and sat down while 
all were standing tiptoe for more. I trust the impression 
was good. It was an interesting audience to address. You 
can scarce conceive how much pleasure I take in speaking to 
an audience on religion, owing partly to the agitations and 
hurry of the mind, to a sense of responsibility, to a full be- 
lief of the importance and consequences of the truth in ques- 
tion. Oh, how I shall delight to preach the Gospel to my 
fellow-beings, if God should spare my life and health !" This 
feeling accompanied him to the last. How often has he said 
that there was no study and no work like his, and that he 
would not, if he were to begin life again, change his choice 
on any account ! Everj' Sabbath morning he was happy in 
the anticipation of entering the pulpit, and felt it to be a 
trial ever to yield it to another. And even in old age, when 
friends had been remonstrating with him on account of his 
many labors, and had counseled rest, he exclaimed, when 
they were o;one, " Oh, they do not know how I love to j^reach 
the Gospefl" 

From Xew Haven he started, Avith a classmate, on a short 
pedestrian tour for the benefit of his health. " On Saturday 
morning-, at an early hour, in company with my old class- 
mate, Carrington, I left Xew Haven for the West. AVe 
looked very untheological, each swinging a heavy cane, and 



106 JOHN TODD. 

each fondling a bundle of clothes under his arm, frequently 
shifting iheni from one arm to the other, as if unwilling to 
den}- eitlier arm so great a pleasure. Our iirst stage brought 
us to Derby, where we breakfasted. We stopped several 
times in Huntington, and arrived at Mr. Lee's, in Munroe, 
at dinner, sixteen miles from Xew Haven. The morning 
was fair, the country delightfully pleasant, all in the beauty 
of its bloom; we were on foot, independently at leisure, and 
enjoyed our walk very much. Carrington, though an odd 
sort of mortal, is a person of sound, sterling talents, fre- 
quently shrewd in his remarks, and^ always agreeable to a 
friend. Mr. Lee was writing a sermon, but broke off during 
my stay. My short visit there was very pleasant. Here I 
left Carrington for a day or two, when I expect him on to 
see me, and then we shall take up our line of march and go 
farther. From Munroe to this place (Weston) I walked 
alone, and arrived here before night, exceedingly tired, hav- 
ing walked about thirty miles during the day. I intended 
to ride a part of the way, but meeting with no opportunity, 
I pressed forward, as I always do, and accomplished my de- 
sign, and ai-rived at my old home, where I was welcomed 
by two as affectionate sisters as you could wish. You will 
presume, then, that when I awoke on Sabbath morning I 
did not feel in the best health and spirits. Mr. Osborne 
lives about a mile from meeting, so I rode with the girls. 
On arriving, we found the minister was out of town, so there 
was no way but I must preach. I was not dressed A^ery 
much like a reverend, but hoped they would forget the man 
in the preacher. I talked all day, and attended a Bible-class 
of young ladies at noon, where I talked about an hour, prov- 
ing to them that the Bible was inspired. You may imagine 
that by night I was somewhat exhausted. I can not say 
how the good people in this enlightened place were pleased 
with their preacher, though one of my acquaintances hinted 
to me that since I went to Andover I have lost in animation 
what I have gained in logical correctness. To-day I am 
resting, though I am shortly going out on a visit. You must 
now imagine me at the place which for two years I have 
called Osborneville. Your imagination will paint a fine 
white house, about the size and appeai-ance of yours, with 
a beautiful door-yard, rich shrubbery, etc. Back of the 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 107 

house is a steep hill, from which you have a delightful pros- 
pect over a rich, extensive vale beneath. This side-hill sup- 
ports a thriving- fruit-yard, where apples, pears, peaches, and 
grapes are found in abundance in the autumn. I feel well 
acquainted with each tree, having very narrowly examined 
the cliai-acter of each when I resided here. In front of the 
house, about fifty yards distant, is a lovely winding stream, 
where I used to go fishing with great success. You can 
throw your eyes in no direction without meeting with what 
is lovely and charming. Truly, this would be a most de- 
lightful spot, were the society in any degree equal to its 
natural scenery. Entering, you see me seated in my sister's 
parlor, where we have a little fire. The room is much like 
your parlor. Sisters Susan and Phebe are sitting beside me 
with their white needle-work. The room is still, save the 
unwearied ticking of the clock, and my watch, with its silk- 
en chain, lying before me, and the noise of my pen, as it 
scrawls this long sheet of nonsense. You see your humble 
servant sitting, very dignified, in the rocking-chair, with a 
sprig of the flowering almond and the lily of the valley in 
my bosom, thinking of a friend at some distance hence. By- 
the-bye, I wish you would procure some of these flowers for 
your garden. I admire them very much, as I do almost all 
kinds of flowers. 

"I staid at Weston, writing and visiting, till Thursday 
morning, when, in company with Carrington, I left for Dan- 
bury. We went through a wild, romantic place, known by 
the name of 'The Devil's Den.' It is a cluster of shaggy, 
uncivilized hills, thrown together here and there, 5<'?ze ordlne. 
There are two frowning hills stretching along parallel with 
one another for some miles. They stand close together, as 
if in the attitude of defiance. We stopped at Reading, where 
we visited a Mr. Bartlett (minister), a Squire Sanford, an in- 
telligent, reading, visit-loving justice of the peace, a Doctor 
Davis (physician), etc. At the last place I found Mrs. Davis 
to be a remarkably curious woman. As soon as she learned 
my name, and that Timothy Todd was my father, she raised 
both hands, as if in transpoi-t, and declared that I must stay 
with them a month. She would hardly take 'No 'for an 
answer. Here we dined, having Avalked eight or ten miles. 
Our next sta2;e brouo-ht us to Danburv, eight miles from 

3 ./ 7 O 



108 JOHN TODD. 

Reading. This is a wicked but interesting place. There is 
a revival here at the present time. On Friday I returned to 
Weston, leaving Carrington to assist in the revival. I found 
myself not a little fatigued, and nearly sick with a cold; but, 
notwithstanding all this, I could not be excused by my friends 
from executing a plan which they had formed during my 
absence. So on Saturday morning I took Mr. Osborne's 
horse and chaise, and set out for Guilford, which I reached 
just at sunset, much fatigued, having ridden between fifty 
and sixty miles. I found my friends all well. I returned 
by way of North Guilford, for the purpose of calling on a 
cousin whom I had not seen for a long time. Monday even- 
inof finds me aoain in New Haven. I am now about return- 
ing to Weston, where I am to confine myself for a week 
closely to my writing. I am sorry to find that my friends 
in Guilford and elsewhere in this region are forming too 
high expectations of me — higher than I can ever meet. It 
is in vain that I tell them I know nothing, and have but 
medium talents ; they still persist in their loud demands for 
my exertions. If I am well, I may, by unremitted exertions, 
do something toward being what they expect; but if my 
health fails, these exertions will soon lay me in my grave. I 
know of no young man who has such a numerous circle of 
friends and acquaintances, all looking at him and expecting 
much. Pushed on thu^, I must rise and be very respectable 
in my day, or find an early repose in death." 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 109 



CHAPTER VIIT. 
LIFE AT ANDOVEE — continuecl. 

A Day's Work.— Ill-health.— Steam-cars wanted.— A Trip to Cape Cod.— 
The Captain-doctor. — Mirth under Difficulties. — Plymouth Rock. — A Dis- 
pute with Conscience. — Determines to preach extempore. — In the Ed- 
itor's Cliair. — Can not change Profession. — A promising young Man. — The 
Way clear. 

It was now June. The spring vacation was over, and the 
students were re-assembled, and at work. " If I give you 
the history of one day, I give you the memoirs of a week or 
summer. I rise at five in the morning, wash, clean my boots, 
brush my clothes, dust my books, etc., till six ; then attend 
prayers and breakfast till seven. At seven, walk for exer- 
cise till eight. From eight to half-past eight, secret devo- 
tion. From half- past eight till half- past twelve, severe 
study in theology. At half- past twelve, dinner till one. 
From one to two, read belles-lettres and polite literature. 
From two to five, study theology. From five to six, read 
'Butler's Analogy' to Plaisted, the blind student. At six, 
prayers, and tea till seven. From seven to eight, walk for 
exercise, or visit my fellow-students. From eight to nine I 
usually attend some society. From nine to ten, read French 
or write letters. At ten, prayers till half-past ten. From 
half-past ten till eleven, secret devotion. Thus passes my 
day. If you could enter my room now you would find me 
sitting at my high, light-blue desk, mounted on a three-leg- 
ged chair, which I call a tripod. My desk is large, being 
three and a half feet long and three wide. It holds my 
books that I use daily, and is covered with soft baize on 
which I write. Our taste has furnished each of us with a 
tumbler in which we keep flowers — roses, sweet-briers, and 
pinks. I change the water every morning, and bring home 
some buds almost every time I walk. There is one high hill, 
about two miles from the seminary, Avhich I love to climb, 
and sit on its top all alone after sunset. It gives a prospect 
of a wide extent of barren country, but it is a delightful 



110 JOHN TODD. 

place to sit and think of this world and the next, and to 
think of the great God." 

Five or six weeks of hard study in summer weather be- 
gan to produce serious effects. " For the last ten days my 
health has been quite feeble. I know not that it can be im- 
puted to any cause, unless it be too severe study for the last 
six or eight months. I am considerably debilitated, with 
but little strength, and an appetite far from ravenous. There 
is a general sinking of the system, too frequently forbidding 
my being about, or far from my bed. In order to benefit 
my health, toward the close of last w^eek I rode out to Bos- 
ton with a friend. Visited in the families of Mr. Osgood, 
Major Adams, and Mr. Foster. They carefulh^ nursed me, 
and I received from each hand a heavy potion of wormwood 
tea, or elixir pro, or aloes, or some delectables, which I con- 
sidered myself bound to take, out of politeness. They were 
exceedingly kind to me, walked with me, sailed on the lake 
with me, and carried me to hear their Unitarian ministers, 
etc. I returned to the seminary yesterday, better in health, 
as I think, and sat up yesterday more than any day for some 
time. My physician gives me bark and wine. Our profess- 
ors here advise me to take a long journey immediately, 
and are even urgent. On the whole, I think it best to try 
to stay, taking as good care of my health as possible. But 
if I come to the conclusion that I must leave or die, I shall 
leave at once. One of the professors lately said to one of 
my classmates, 'Your Mr. Todd has a strong, a powerful 
mind, but I fear he is not long for this world.' This may be 
true, but it did not frighten me in the least, as I know my 
own constitution better than the professor. Z believe I am 
getting better." 

In her anxiety about his health, his betrothed replied : 
" How convenient for us it would be were there a steam- 
boat from Boston to Hartford, as there is to New York ! I 
have not yet heard of any land vehicle propelled by steam, 
but I presume I shall before long. If any such invention is 
made, I hope that the conveyance will be more safe than by 
water, for we have heard of so many accidents to steamboats 
of late that I should almost fear to travel in one." 

A week later the overworked student was again com- 
pelled to try to recruit his exhausted strength. "During 



LIFE A T AXD YER. 1 ] ] 

the last week mv health failed so fast that the physician 
said that I must leave, or have a fit of sickness. Thinking 
it not most desirable to be sick under the sound of the bell, 
and the constant calling of the students, I proposed to two 
of my classmates, Jacob Abbott and Josiah Brewer, to go 
off with me. They are both superior characters. On Fri- 
day morning, then, we early seated ourselves in a stage for 
Boston, I being admirably prepared for my tour, having 
been awake all night by headache and vomiting, and hav- 
ing fainted away once after rising ; but perseverance is not 
easily checked. Having wrapped myself in my old cloak, 
I reached Boston very comfortably about 11 A.^r. Here I 
lay in the Commercial Coffee-house, and slept, or drank soda- 
water, most of the afternoon, not being smart enough to 
make more than one call. In the evening we took packet 
for Yarmouth. I was in hopes, especially as it was windy 
and stormy, that I should be sea-sick ; but no such event 
happened. We had seven or eight passengers, and but 
four berths, so Abbott and myself wrapped ourselves in our 
cloaks, and lay on the deck. The air was cold and damp, 
and for that reason seemed refreshing to my feverish frame. 
I can hardly tell you how we passed the long night. Suf- 
fice it to say that it blew hard, the waves swelled proudly, 
the water around the prow phosphoresced, we came near 
getting on a reef of rocks and oversetting in a sudden gale, 
etc., etc., wliich are common incidents on this coast. Hav- 
ing stood it through the night, the morning was but a little 
more tolerable. Every thing below was dirty and sicken- 
ing, and every thing on deck was wet and cold. Abbott 
was sea-sick. Brewer was afraid, Todd sick with a fever. To 
amuse myself, I put a piece of white rag on a hook, threw it 
over, and soon caught a fine large mackerel. I felt sorry for 
the poor fellow, to be so duped by a rag; but as he is not 
the first who has been gulled, I gave him to the steward to 
cook for my breakfast, but was too sick to eat him. TVe 
arrived at Yarmouth, a sail of about eighty miles, in a lit- 
tle more than twelve hours. Here we were in new trouble. 
It rained hard, and we must walk nearly two miles .to get 
to a boarding-house. So, calling a council of three, we very 
gravely deliberated the matter, and came to a unanimous 
resolution not to stay in our ark any longer. This was 



112 JOHX TODD. 

scholar -like prudence. The result was that we got com- 
pletely wet, and I took a violent cold. Our house of ren- 
dezvous was kept by a Captain Gray, a plump, hardy, weath- 
er-beaten old son of Neptune. What next was to be done? 
A second council was held (in which, you see, I could only 
have one vote), to decide upon my health, which was pro- 
nounced to be wanting. There was no physician near, say 
within forty miles, whom we dared trust; so we concluded 
that the old sea-captain should be the doctor; Abbott and 
Brewer to superintend, and I the patient. There was no 
way but for me to submit wath as much grace as I could 
muster (and even the old captain said he never saw a man 
take medicine more courageously), and indeed my pains by 
this time were so great and many that I concluded they 
could not be made worse. So at seven o'clock Sabbath 
evening I took I know not what as an emetic. It operated 
in ten minutes, and continued to tear me till eleven o'clock — 
by far the most powerful I ever took. Abbott and Brewer 
very sagely concluded that it must do me a vast deal of 
good, as it was so powerful. I agreed, ^:>ro^J^V?ef? it would be 
content to stop before it took me with it." 

In recalling this scene. Rev. Mr. Abbott has described his 
unfortunate fellow-voyager's disposition in terms which will 
at once remind many of Doctor Todd as he was in later life. 
" He was at that time, though famed for his witty and satir- 
ical sayings, one of the gravest and most sober men that I 
ever knew. He never seemed to laugh himself, though he 
occasioned a great deal of laughter in others, and this not 
merely through the incongruity and drollery of his ideas, 
but by the very serious and sedate manner in which he ut- 
tered them. On this night, for example, while he lay toss- 
ing and groaning on his bed, showing a face with as exag- 
gerated an expression of distress as he could throw into it, 
what he said and did produced so comical an effect that Mr. 
Brewer and myself were obliged often to go out of the room 
to recover from our fits of laughter, and I was kept for hours 
in a most curious state between pitying his sufferings and 
laughing at his wit." 

"My landlady was a large, coarse, deaf fisher- woman, so my 
only nurse was my captain-doctor and my fellow-students. 
This medicine left me weak and exhausted, but in full pos- 



LIFE A T ANDO VER. 1 1 3 

session of all my pain. On Sabbath morning they concluded 
(tor I was now too sick to vote, and so the captain filled my 
place) that I must breakfast on calomel and dine on jalap — 
the captain -doctor to deal the medicines. I ventured to 
suggest that he might not know how to adapt such power- 
ful medicines to my constitution ; but he raised a loud lauoh 
at my ignorance in not knowing that 'a sea-captain has the 
care of the medicine-chest, and knows all about it.' From 
that time till dark I was in full possession of the benefits to 
be derived from his medical skill. His medicine acted as 
powerfully as my worst enemies could wish ; and what was 
worse, I was faint, but could not keep down any thing to 
give me strength. This lasted till evening. My compan- 
ions went to hear a Unitarian preacher, who proved to them 
most indubitably that men are not depraved, from the fact 
that we have a conscience. I kept close to my bed, being un- 
able to sit up, the captain being my nurse. I received no re- 
lief from my pain till morning. I then found myself mostly 
free from pain, free from fever, free from strength, and as 
limber as a French dancing-master. The fact of the whole 
seems to be that I had the foundation laid for a severe fever, 
that this captain-doctor, measuring his medicines by the ro- 
bust constitution of a sailor, gave me at least twice as much 
as my physician would have done, and broke up the fever. 
On Tuesday I walked out, and made several visits in order 
to learn the character of the people. Wednesday morning 
was our appointed time to leave on our return. We decided 
on sending our trunk by water to Boston, and returning by 
land. Accordingly we set out on foot Wednesday morning, 
and with a slow^ march wandered along the coast, gazing at 
every thing we saw, and imagining many things which we 
could not see. We stopped and bathed at every conven- 
ient place, which \vas very refreshing, but one of them came 
near being dangerous. Abbott and myself procured each 
of us a plank, and while Brewer was hovering around the 
shore we sailed out of a creek to try our comparative nau- 
tical skill. We sailed bravely until we arrived at the mouth 
of the creek, when a strong current set in, and shot us out 
into the ocean. Our poor vessels were soon placed beyond 
the length of our setting-poles, and of course were wholly 
unmanageable. We had nothing to do but plunge and 

8 



114 JOHN TODD. 

swim ; and as we both are tolerably good swimmers, wo 
stemmed the tide bravely, and soon regained our starting- 
point, to the great joy of poor Brewer, who looked rather 
wild on the occasion. I thought but little of it, as I have 
been in greater danger of drowning at least a thousand 
times. We walked eight miles only in the forenoon. In 
Mr. Fish's congregation in Marshpee are about four hundred 
Indians; some of them aie pious. He has two deacons, and 
one of them is a full-blooded Indian. In the afternoon we 
walked eight miles farther to Sandwich. We enjoyed it 
exceedingly ; and while our sedate Brother Brewer would 
stalk along with all the perpendicular dignity of a vicar, 
Abbott and myself would stop in almost every house, beg a 
drink of water, and study the character and manners of the 
people. I was much pleased with them. They were sim- 
ple, open, frank, and very kind. At Sandwich we passed the 
night. The next day we had a dreary walk to Plymouth. 
You have doubtless heard much of the Plymouth Rock. 
And, pray, what do you suppose it to be ? Do you suppose 
it a large, flat, romantic rock, stretching off into the water, 
large enough to contain one hundred and one pilgrims — a 
rock venerated, marked, notable, conspicuous ? So had Z im- 
agined ! But, alas ! nonitafuit. Imagine us walking down 
a narrow, dirty street, with an Indian boy for a guide, all go- 
ing down toward the water to see the Forefathers' Rock. 
Imagine Brewer to be striding on with his huge steps for- 
ward of the rest, all stretching our eyes to see the rock. 
Now we are all silent, expecting every moment the rock to 
burst upon the vision; now we come to the w^harf, and just 
as we are entering the wharf, among tar-barrels, molasses, 
salt, and codfish. Brewer stalks over a flat rock about four 
feet square, just on a level with the ground. Todd exclaims, 
'•Siste, I pray this be not the rock!' with great vehemence. 
The little Indian rolls his dark eyes, and cries, ' Dat be him.' 
We all stop and look. This, then, is the rock ! on a wharf, 
covered with dirt, run over a hundred times every day with 
carts and horses! Oh, how unromantic ! It was originally 
about eight feet square, but half of it has been broken off 
and carried up to the court-house to preserve. It was so 
hammered and pecked that we could not get a piece to 
bring away. But we were sadly disappointed, and most 



LIFE A T AND VER. 1 1 5 

sagely agreed that whenever we took upon us to say we 
had see7i the rock on which the Pilgrims landed, it would 
not be judicious to describe it. We next visited the grave- 
yard. Here we found grave-stones inscribed 1690, but no 
one knows where one of the Pilgrims lies. On Saturday we 
returned, having been absent one week and one day. I find 
ray health improved since my return, yet it is feeble. My 
stomach is such a quarrelsome fellow, it wrangles with ev- 
ery thing I eat; but I hope soon to bring it to a sense of 
propriety. It so happened that at every tavern at which 
we stopped they were Universalists, and they all learned 
where we were from, and charged us enormously. So that 
though we carried eleven dollars each, yet we had barely 
enough to get back. The pleasures I receive from traveling 
are unusually great ; for my characteristic boldness and ar- 
dency (and some will add, address) carry me at once among 
all classes of people. I study all kinds of character, and see 
all I can. This study of original character is what I pecul- 
iarly delight in." 

"August 23d. 
" It was Thursday, about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, 
that I was sitting at my writing- desk, thinking of you. 
' Come, come !' says old Mr. Conscience, ' you must commit 
your piece to memory, which you have to speak at two 
o'clock in the chapel.' 'Oh yes, Mr. Conscience, but it is a 
great while since I have heard from Mary: let me just look 
at her last letter. Now, then, old friend, isn't this a pretty 
letter?' ''Your speech, your speech!' 'In a moment; but 
just let me look at that letter in which the girl told me, for 
the first time, that she loved me — only a minute !' So I be- 
gan to read that letter, and the next, and the next. 'Stop, 
stop!' cried Conscience, ' you'll be disgraced ! your piece !' 
'In a moment, sir; let me just read our engagement, and 
her next letter. Ah, here is a good letter, old Quiz — a very 
fine letter!' ' Xonsense, nonsense! commit your piece!' 
' Oh yes, but doesn't she write good letters ?' ' Your piece !' 
'Ay, but doesn't she gradually show how she loves me bet- 
ter and better?' ' Your piece ! your piece !' ' Yes, but this 
is a sweet girl ; how I wish I could see the creature !' 
'Hold!' cries Conscience, 'your piece is not committed; the 
dinner-bell rings, and you must speak at two, before the 



116 JOHX TODD. 

seminary! See what your foolish love costs you!' 'Right, 
right, Mr. Conscience ; but she is a lovely girl, say what you 
will, as the dozen letters I have just read prove.' Here the 
dialogue closed, and I went to dinner while old Conscience 
took a nap. After one o'clock Brother Howe comes in. 
'Do be well prepared. Brother Todd ; we are to have a host 
of ladies to hear you.' 'Ah, I have not committed a word 
of my piece !' 'Ay, ay, I told you so,' says Conscience, just 
waking up; 'I told you that you would be disgraced.' 'Be 
still, Mr. Conscience, I will go to work; but — she is a fine 
girl !' So, pulling off my coat, I took to my work — forgot 
you, forgot every thing. The bell rings. 'Ah, now for it !' 
cries my old tormentor. ' Cease, Conscience, let me alone !' 
I go in ; the ladies are there ; I mount the stage, go through 
without tripping, without hesitating. Tliey listen silently, 
and I come off well. ' See now, old fool of a Conscience I' 
I say, 'see how I have got along, and thought of Mary 
too.' 'Yes, but you are too bold, too daring; you may one 
day get yourself into difficulty with this foolish love of 
yours !' 'Never, never, old friend ; but don't say any thing 
more about this escape : she is a sweet girl.' " 

" September 6th. 

" I have concluded to take a room at Doctor Woods's 
next year, and for these reasons: I can write sermons to 
much better advantage, and study much more profitably, 
than if in the seminary. If I am sick, I shall be near Mrs. 
Woods, who is very kind, and a skilli'ul nurse, which would 
be no small consideration, if I should be as I have been 
much of this summer. The expense of rooms there will be 
considerable, but I had rather economize in something else 
than forego the advantage of rooming alone senior year. 
My room will be convenient, large, and very comfortable. 
I will read you my first sermon when I see you, and you 
may criticise it, for it needs it. As to committing sermons 
to memory, I shall not do it. I intend to preach extem- 
poraneously half of the time after I am settled, and half 
of the time written sermons. My extempore sermons will 
probably consist in part of exegesis. I am persuaded that 
no man can be really eloquent very frequently who is 
wholly confined to notes." 

As soon as vacation arrived, he naturally started for Con- 



L TFE A T AND VER. 1 [ 7 

necticut ; but he was hindered by the way. " I had got as 
far as Boston, when I was stopped by the editor of the Tele- 
graph.^'' The Boston Telegraph was a religious newspaper, 
started but a little while before by Gerard Hallock. It 
was soon afterward merged in the Boston Recorder. " He 
pleaded with me so hard, that I consented to take the edi- 
torial chair for a short time. I have just got out one paper 
this morning, and must now go to work on another. I am 
constantly expecting Hallock to return ; but I neither know 
where he has gone or when he comes. You may fancy me 
cooped up in the counting-room of the Telegrap>h office, sur- 
rounded by seventy diiferent kinds of newspapers constantly 
pouring in, with letters and pamphlets, and company, etc. 
Every evening I am dragged into meeting nolens volens^ and 
last Sabbath I preached twice in the new society of this 
city. So, you see, I am busy, and see much good company, 
and have fine things said to me. As to pecuniary profits, I 
know not what Hallock will give me, but should presume 
he can not afibrd to give me such a compensation as that I 
can save much. My board is one dollar per day, exclusive 
of washing. Should the Boston people undertake to make 
me an editor of some work, ought I to think of accepting ? 
I say JVo. I wish to preach the Gospel, and I don't wish to 
think of any other business. I mention this because hints 
have been thrown out, and I have determined, before con- 
sulting even you, to say I want no other employment be- 
sides the Gospel. I intend to undertake no other." 

In about a fortnight he was released by the return of Mr. 
Hallock, and again started for Connecticut. But again he 
was overtaken by duty. " I am in Hartford, on business, 
important business for Mrs. Lee " [his old friend, Mrs. Doctor 
Lee, of Colebrook]. " She has lately sold some property in 
New London. I am now dispatched to collect the money 
and settle the business. So, you see, if I can't get a living 
by preaching, I may by being sheriff. My circumstances 
make me turn my hand to almost any thing; but I care not, 
as it teaches me to do business, to see society, to be placed 
in difierent situations, to see men and manners in all their 
varieties." 

In Colebrook, "on the Sabbath I preached twice. The 
audience was very full and very attentive. It does not be- 



118 JOHN TODD. 

come me to say whether or not they were interested. The 
people here look upon me as a kind of Colebrook man, and 
almost claim me as theirs. My friends here seem to have 
increasing expectations of me, and continue to call me ' the 
promising young man ;' but it is these very expectations 
that often make me shrink. It is not a good tiling for a 
young man to enter the world under a full tide of expecta- 
tion, and a wide circle of acquaintance. Perhaps no one of 
my acquaintance has more eyes upon him than myself 
Perhaps, too, here and there one, like our mutual friend Mrs. 

D , would rejoice to see me fail and come to nothing. I 

am a proud creature, and my feelings are all as deep as the 
seat of life. I do not feel discouraged, but feel solicitous. 
My father fell under a heavy blow of Providence; he fell in 
the morning of life. The same stroke crushed my mother, 
and I was born an orphan, shelterless, penniless. I was 
but six years old when I knelt over my father's grave, and 
vowed, even then, to rise above my circumstances. I soon 
determined to have a liberal education. My friends op- 
posed, obstacles were thrown in my way, every thing op- 
posed. I rose above all; I went to college, half-fitted; I 
was sick much of the time, owing to too severe application 
and anxiety; I pressed on, rose above all, and now stand 
where I can see my way clear." 



LIFE AT ANDOVER. 119 



I 



CHAPTER IX. 

LIFE AT AXDOVEE — continuecl. 

Doctor Eli Todd. — The new Librarian. — A Pseudo -Baptist. — Answers Him- 
self. — A wise Professor. — An anonymous Letter. — Vanity. — Licensed by 
Professors. — The first Preaching. — Competitors for Valedictory. — Dan- 
gers at the Seminary. — The Christian Almanac. — Wanted for Palestine. — 
The Hawk and the Jay. — Two Orators. — Doctor Griffin.— Fanny Fern. — 
A religious Fourth. — The Association at Dedham. — The Oration at Park 
Street.— An awful Question.— A beautiful Prayer. 

Having been appointed librarian at Andover for the com- 
ing year, it was necessary for him to be promptly at his 
post ; and so, after three or four weeks spent among his old 
friends in Litchfield and Fairfield counties, he set out on his 
return, by way, of course, of Newington and Hartford. At 
the latter place "I walked out to see Doctor Todd, at the Re- 
treat. I was received wdth great politeness, my name being 
a passport to their good graces. I should think the doctor 
possessed a mind quick, inquisitive, independent, daring, and 
skeptical. He seemed to be well acquainted with the char- 
acter of my father, whom he seems to have greatly respected, 
and perhaps from the fact that many traits in their charac- 
ters are alike. He says my father was an ambitious man, 
but had character to stand on ; and adds that, had he not 
met with that calamity wdiich brought him to an untimely 
grave, ' there is no doubt but he woidd have been governor 
of Vermont in two or three years.' You may think me 
chiklish for mentioning this, but the memory of my dear 
fatlier is all I have to cherish. 

" I find the library in excellent order, and my duties as 
librarian will be lighter than I expected. I am not necessi- 
tated to go in, except on particular occasions, and then I 
charge a shilling per hour for all the time it takes me. It is 
a delightful place to practice speaking or reading aloud. I 
am very glad I have the office. I am also librarian for the 
Athenaeum — a reading-room — which makes me some trouble 
with but little profit. Perhaps you would think me some- 



120 JOHN TODD. 

thing of a man could you see how busy I am, out of study 
liours, in fulfilling the duties of some of my oiine different 
public offices. But all these duties help to render me accu- 
rate, quick to dispatch business, and prompt at any thing in 
hand. We have a general meeting of the seminary at the 
commencement of every new year. In this meeting all the 
committees, officers, collectors, etc., are appointed for the 
year. There are about ten or fifteen diffi^rent committees. 
At our late meeting Todd was called to the chair as moder- 
ator, and Rood as recorder. The nomination of all the vari- 
ous committees fell upon me. I went through it as well as 
I could, and, as far as I know, to the satisfaction of all con- 
cerned. I believe I am as strange a compound of feeling 
and delicacy, combined with boldness and decision of char- 
acter, as ever lived." 

"December 4tli. 

"My class are now on the subject oi baptism ^2i\\^ as we 
have no Baptists in my class, I have been appointed by the 
class to be a Baptist during the discussion. I have accord- 
ingly begun a dissertation in favor of the Baptist tenets, in 
which I have advocated (I.) That infants can not be proved 
to be proper subjects of baptism ; (II.) That immersion is the 
only true mode of baptism ; (III.) That close communion 
ought to be practiced. I am sorry, on the whole, that I was 
appointed, for several reasons: (l.) I have taken hold with 
so strong a hand, that Doctor Woods will feel suspicious of 
me, lest I believe the tenets of the Baptists. (2.) It does not 
have a good effect upon the mind to be so placed as to de- 
fend what you do not believe. (3.) It will be as much work 
as to write four good sermons, but will not be as useful to 
me. (4.) We are so constituted that we retain an objection, 
while we forget its answer; and thus the mind is left in con- 
tinued doubts, where there should be none. Miss H says 

if I will become a Baptist minister, Mr. P will give me 

the right hand of fellowsliip with all pleasure imaginable. 
I fear, however, that I am too much tied down to the good 
old opinions of my fathers easily to surrender my faith at 
the first sound of the trumpet." 

"December ^th. 

"After my appointment, I sat down to the business, and 
in a week wrote my dissertation against baptizing infants 



LIFE AT AXDOVER. 121 

and children. At the close of that time I read it before mv 
class. It took me fully fifty minutes to read it. I had given 
myself to the subject, and entered into it with my accus- 
tomed ardor of feeling. It evidently produced a great ex- 
citement in the class. After I had resumed my seat, Doctor 
Woods did me the honor to say I had ' pleaded the cause 
of the Baptists better than they ever did themselves.' My 
'ground was bold, my reasoning specious, and out of the 
common course.' The professor then said the dissertation 
must be answered — that the class might appoint a man to 
do it, or he would do it himself. The class met, and nomi- 
nated me to answer it. I declined, for I was wearied with 
severe study. They then referred it to the professor to ap- 
point some one. The doctor immediately sent for me to his 
house, and said I must turn upon myself, and answer my 
own dissertation. I tried to beg off, but he insisted, so I 
took the appointment. This was Monday. The class all 
suspended their regular studies till I got my dissertation 
done. Again I sat down, and for a week I studied from 
daylight till after midnight. On Monday I again read, in 
favor of infant baptism. My piece was one hour and twenty 
minutes, as fast as I could read. It was a piece on which I 
had laid out my strength. Great expectations were excited 
in the seminary while I was at work, and I feel peculiarly 
happy in saying that I believe these expectations were met. 
I believe every man felt as if I had taken grounds from 
which I could not be shaken. Doctor Woods did me the 
peculiar honor, after I had finished it, to request me to pre- 
sent him a copy to keep — a thing which he has never been 
known to do before. But, as I have no time or disposition 
to copy it, I fear he will never receive it. The essay has 
not been in my hands since, but in the hands of difterent 
members of the seminary, who are copying it. I presume at 
least fifty copies will be taken. I have been urged by sev- 
eral of my brethren to publish it, but I shall not do it. I 
am too young to publish at present. Xow, from what I 
have said, I fear you will infer two things: first, that this 
business has made me vain, which I assure you is not cor- 
rect ; and, secondly, that my piece is very extraordinary, 
which is not so. It is good, it is able, but nothing very 
extraordinary ; for no piece that was wholly planned and 



122 JOHN TODD. 

written in five days can be very great. The exertion of 
these two weeks was so great as to make me sick. My 
nerves had been so excited during the time that I was writ- 
ing, that after the excitement was over I was quite unstrung 
and quite low-spirited. I have now got over it, and have 
come out quite strongly — 7iot a Baptist P'' 

The last sentence was not without meaning. His enforced 
advocacy of Baptist tenets had, as appears from his remarks 
upon it already quoted, produced a temporary effect upon 
his own mind. Nearly fifty years later he wrote: "Doc- 
tor Woods read human nature admirably. I recollect that 
when my class came to the subject of baptism, there not 
happening to be any brother in the class, we appointed one 
to present the Baptist side of the question. This he did, 
and so strongly, that the professor desired to have a man 
appointed to reply. The class concurred, but referred the 
appointment back to him. He immediately appointed the 
same man to meet his own arguments. This wisdom of 
Doctor Woods not unlikely saved the young man from tak- 
ing sides and becoming a Baptist." 

"December 11th. 

"As I can keep nothing from you, I must transcribe a 
short note lately put into my hands. It reads thus: 

" ' My dear Todd, — Mahomet says that he had one drop 
of black blood in his heart, and that when the angel had 
squeezed out this drop he was holy. Idem tibi dico. That 
you have accomplished manners, that you have a pleas- 
ing address, I know; and that the talents which God has 
given you are far superior to any of our class, there can 
be no doubt ; and, with one exception, you are certainly the 
most perfect man I have ever met with. This exception is, 
too bold^ too independent feelings. I do not say you want 
humility; I think otherwise; but you need more of tlie ap- 
pearance of doubting your powers in those cases where none 
can doubt them. Alter in this respect, and you will do 
more for the Church of God than ten common men. 

" ' One who loves you no less than 
he respects you.' 

"You may think that this is mere flattery, but I know 
whom it came from, and know it is every word sincere. The 
writer is truly a friend of mine, and puts more confidence in 



I 



LIFE AT AXBOVEB. 123 

me than in all the rest of our class. I am aware of the evil 
to which he alludes, and told you of it when I saw you, and 
suppose you have seen something of it. But I will try to 
mend, and, with the assistance of God, I have no fear that 
you will ever have just reason to be ashamed of me." 

Xo man, probably, ever accomplished much who had not 
this consciousness of, and confidence in, his own powers — a 
consciousness which is allied to, and perhaps always mixed 
with, more or less vanity. Mr. Todd had gauged his own 
talents so well, that he could not donbt his own powers, and 
he was too honest to put on " an ajjpearance of doubting" 
which did not exist. 

But if this self-consciousness was sometimes too apparent, 
it was relieved by a beautiful humility, and readiness to 
listen to suggestion even from a child. This is apparent in 
his remarks on the anonymous letter just quoted. In one 
of the later years of his life, one of the editors of the Con- 
gregationalist wrote to him, ofl:ering a criticism upon a point 
in a sermon of his then just published. His immediate reply 
was : " Your criticism in regard to an unguarcied expression 
in the sermon is just. I meant simply, etc. We can't al- 
ways guard as we would." "It interested me," writes the 
editor, '• that Doctor Todd, though a man of very wide rep- 
utation, and venerable in years, should so readily accept a 
suggestion from one so much younger as myself. And I am 
happy to add that I always found him a most comfortable 
man to deal with ; the difference between him and many other 
contributors to our paper was quite marked in this respect." 
As a further illustration of the same characteristic, it may be 
added that in the height of his power he not unfrequently 
submitted a production for w^hich he felt specially solicitous 
to the criticism of his son, and always considered with the 
greatest care, and frequently followed, in one or two cases 
even to the entire recasting of a plan, the suggestions of his 
boy. One of his striking utterances on his death-bed was, 
"The last sin that I shall leave behind me on earth is — van- 
ity." Very likely there was justice in this self-condemna- 
tion. Xo man ever more accurately took the gauge of his 
own character as well as abilities, and knew himself better. 
But it may be questioned whether in this instance his con- 
scientiousness did not, to some extent at least, mistake for 



124 JOHN TODD. 

vanity what was really only self-knowledge and self-confi- 
dence. 

" Friday my class observed as a day of fasting and prayer, 
as a previous preparation to our being licensed by the pro- 
fessors. These licenses we received last evening, so that I 
am now a licensed preacher according to the laws of this 
seminary. To-morrow evening I expect to preach in the 
chapel, and it would afford me great pleasure could I know 
that you w^ere then praying for me. I expect a full house, 
if the weather is good, as there is no small desire to hear 
me. Oh, it is a great work to preach the Gospel, and to do 
it with faithfulness ! Most earnestly do I beg you to pray 
for me, that my preparation may be complete. 

"The Sabbath after I last wrote, I preached in the chapel, 
as I expected. My audience was large, and I was so suc- 
cessful as to gain more approbation and compliments than 
I could have expected, even with my natural share of van- 
ity. 

"Doctor Woods lately called on me, and said he wished 
me not to make any engagements for next fall at present^ 
until he had some talk with me. By this I mistrusted that 
he wishes me to go on an agency for the Board of Missions, 
to the South, as I presume. These suspicions were confirmed 
by having Mr. Evarts make the same remark to me when I 
was in Boston. I should very much dread to have them ap- 
ply to me to be an agent. I know that it is the duty of 
somebod}^ to do it ; I think it a good and honorable employ- 
ment; and yet I should shi-ink from it. Not but that I could 
beg and get them money — I should have no fear of this kind 
— but I should ablior to begin. 

"The subject of our valedictory begins to excite consider- 
able interest in the seminary, as it always does. It is not 
known who will have it. There have been, for more than 
a year, three candidates — Howe, Maltby, and Todd. These 
have been looked upon as a literary trio. But of late. Malt- 
by is pretty much dropped, and the struggle lies between 
Howe and Todd. I call it struggle, for so every thing of 
this kind is ever looked upon, though there could be no 
better feelings than exist between Howe and myself. The 
seminary are in doubt to which it will be given. The stu- 
dents look upon us thus: Howe is the best speaker; Todd, 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 125 

the best writer. Howe, the most polished by art; Todd, the 
greatest by nature. Howe, a man as perfect as art can make 
him ; Todd, as original as need be. The one has most ac- 
quired talent ; the other, the most genius. The one thinks 
correctly and beautifully; the other thinks strongly and pow- 
erfully. Howe has had much the greatest advantages, but 
seems nearly at his ne plus ; Todd, the less favored in boy- 
hood in advantages, has a mind on a broader and deeper 
scale. The one is never heard without admiration; the oth- 
er, never without attention and deep impression. The one 
takes the audience like a refined and skillful orator; the oth- 
er makes them feel themselves under the control of a mighty 
spirit. This is what the seminary think, and it is a matter 
of great doubt who has the valedictory. If, now, you ask 
m.y opinion, you shall have it. I think Hoioe will have the 
valedictory. It will not be known, however, till next term. 
I shall have no hard or unpleasant feelings, for it w^ould 
make but little diiFerence to myself. I have the honor of 
being universally considered the first man in my class, and 
probably the first in the seminary, and w^ith that I am con- 
tent. I thought, however, I had better mention the subject 
to you, and tell you precisely how matters stand, lest you 
be disappointed if I do not have the said valedictory. If I 
have it, it will be well enough — let it come; but if I have it 
not, it probably never will make the difference of five dol- 
lars with me." 

The disadvantages of all this rivalry and intellectual ap- 
plication he was not slow to perceive. To his future father- 
in-law he writes: "Your classification of the dangers con- 
nected wath our situation here is just. The plan of our 
course of study here is such, that the three years' discipline 
makes a man either a giant or a pedant. The greatest men 
we have here always belong to the junior class. But I have 
certainly met here with the most expanded and liberal 
minds, and minds, too, that can and do appreciate excellence 
of character wherever seen. As to the danger of decay of 
piety, it is greater than all other dangers united. All our 
impressions are received passively ; all the atmosphere is 
literary; all our exercises are subjected to criticism; all is 
intellect, speculation : nothing to draw out active piety. 
Our studies, too, are pressing, more pressing than I had an- 



126 JOHN TODD. 

ticipated. We have as many as six or eight irons in the 
fire continually. I write a sermon now and then as a relax- 
ation, and find it by far the most delightful of my employ- 
ments. But I suppose the sermons I write here will be 
considered by you as too abstract. I suppose they are so. 
I find it extremely difficult, after being cloistered up nine 
years in a literary atmosphere, to write such sermons as are 
best adapted to a common congregation ; but I hope this 
difficulty will be diminished, if not wholly annihilated, when 
I come to associate with men. Having lived in a city or 
seminary ever since I was thirteen, I hardly know how I 
should manage in a country parish. Although I do not look 
forward to the great work of life without much solicitude, 
nor to the momentous question of personal salvation with- 
out trembling, yet I most ardently long to be preaching 
the Gospel of Christ. For this I have toiled for years; to 
this I have devoted all my powers. The news of salvation 
through Jesus, whether you and I are partakers or not, is 
'glad tidings of great joy,' and I pray that we both may be 
faithful and devoted to the business of proclaiming it." 

" January 15tli, 1825. 

"The Committee of the American Tract Society have ap- 
plied to me to be the editor of the 'Christian Almanac for 
1826.' I shall undertake it, provided my health is good 
enough. It is a good opportunity to speak to half a million 
of immortal beings, and I need not say it will bring upon 
me no small responsibility to do it well. 

"Last Wednesday, as a class, we had a day of fasting and 
prayer, in order to prepare our minds to decide, each for 
himself, whether or not it is his dutj^ to become a foreign 
missionary. The ladies in Boston have funds to support a 
missionary in Palestine. My class all point to me as the in- 
dividual possessing the proper qualifications for this respon- 
sible station. Doctor Woods, who is the most perfect judge 
of character I ever met with, thinks decidedly, that, should 
I not go to Persia or Palestine, I ought to go to our own 
new country, where churches and societies are forming. I 
do not intend to be solicitous as to where I shall go, or what 
I shall do. Professor Stuart says my prospects for life are 
as promising as those of any young man he ever knew. I 
think it not unlikely it will be judicious for me to go to the 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 127 

South next winter, as my health hardly bears this cold weath- 
er. Doctor Murdock tells me that it" I can get a berth in 
Xew Orleans, it will be the place for my talents. If I can 
be a faithful, devoted preacher of the Gospel of Christ, I 
care very little where I go." 

"February 5th. 

"At the close of the week I was not well, so I got into 
the stage for Boston, whence I returned on the Monday fol- 
lowing. On my return, I found S , of my class, in great 

distress, it being his duty to preach the Sabbath following; 
and lo ! he had no sermon, and could get no one to take his 
place. This was Monday evening. What was to be done ? 
At his earnest request, I undertook to stand in his place. I 
immediately chose a subject, drew my plan, and on Wednes- 
day evening finished my sermon. I read it to a professor 
on Thursday morning, agreeably to the laws of the seminary, 
and it received his approbation ; so last Sabbath evening I 
preached it before the seminary and a crowded audience. 
It was forty minutes long, and decidedly the greatest effort 
I ever made at composition. It was received with breath- 
less attention, and has done me an honor in the eyes of the 
institution. 

" My poor almanac comes on very slowly. I have lately 
had a memoir of Thomas Hamitah Patoo (who died, in 1823, 
in Cornwall school) put into my hands to prepare for the 
press. It is not long, but I must rewrite it entirely, and, 
what is still worse, it is for the American Tract Society, who 
have no great appetite for compensating one according to 
the labor bestowed. 

"I was walking out, a few mornings since, in company 
with a friend — it was a clear, told morning — when I saw 
a bird flying, about fifty rods distant. It was a blue jay. 
Presently I noticed a hawk coming very leisurely, and look- 
ing about for a breakfast. At once he dove down and struck 
the' poor jay, which set up a most pitiful yell, as if already 
in the clutches of a hangman. The blow of Mr. Hawk broke 
a wing of Mr. Jay, and they both dropped toward the ground 
together. The hawk now seized the jay with his claws, and, 
in return, his friend Jay seized him also in his, at the same 
time keeping up a most dismal screaming. On seeing and 
hearing the poor jay, I dropped cloak, off hat, kicked off 



128 JOHN TODD. 

overshoes, jumped over the wall, which fell down as a kind 
of chorus, and away I ran to relieve neighbor Jay, for I can 
never bear to see oppression. Mr. Hawk, seeing nie coming, 
undertook to be ofi"; but no — the jay would not unclinch his 
claws and let him off, and the poor hawk (not having been 
to breakfast, and probably having lived rather abstemiously 
the day preceding), had not sufficient strength to fly off with 
his load ; and so, after running a good long stretch, I caught 
them both. It was my fii-st feeling to kill the murderous 
hawk, and let his captive go free; but I thought I would 
spare his life a while, in order to see their behavior; and 
truly I was much pleased to witness the difference in their 
dispositions.. I brought them both up to the seminary, and 
introduced them into my room. The jay was a complete 
dandy, dressed in a light-blue coat, spotted vest, light small- 
clothes, red stockings, a full rufile in his bosom, and a high 
hat, which he could take off or put on as he pleased ; his 
eye, small and black ; neck, long and slender. From the 
first moment of my catching him, he appeared to be the 
most ungrateful, uncivil, and ungentlemanly knave I ever 
met with, and withal a most arrant coward. He kept up 
an almost constant yell ; would try to pick out the hawk's 
eyes, would seize him by the throat ; and made no bones of 
biting me, his deliverer, every time he could. In short, he 
was a most contemptible, revengeful, malicious, I'attle-headed, 
mean, cowardly creature, and could be excelled in villainy 
only by a dandy without feathers. I never met a more des- 
picable fellow — too cowardly to live, too mean to be killed. 
Monsieur Hawk, on the contrary, was a most dignified per- 
sonage. He was dressed in a plain, Quaker-like suit of gray 
— nothing shining or artifi(?ial about him'; a large piercing 
eye, a short solid neck, a flat-crowned hat, and a true Roman 
nose finishes his picture. As soon as I caught him he show- 
ed a character really great. He looked me steadily in the 
eye, was calm, composed. He never opened his mouth to 
complain, as if he was afraid of suffering ; never begged for 
life, as if a coward. When the jay would yell and peck at 
him, and try to pull out his eyes, he would only turn his 
head and look at him with a countenance so full of gravity 
and contempt, that I really felt small for the jay. More- 
over, he never tried to bite or scratch me ; and when I threat- 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 129 

enecl him with death, he seemed to look at it with all the 
fortitude and composure of a Regulus. To be sure, he was 
caught in an act of aggressive warfare, but then he w^as 
driven by necessity, and he seemed to know what was really 
dignified. In a word, he behaved so much like a gentleman 
and a hero, and I admired his magnanimity so much, that, 
after bestowing many cautious and much sage advice (which 
he received with the most profound gravity and attention), 
I let him go out of my window. His greatness and noble- 
ness of demeanor was such that I had no heart to kill him. 
As for Mr. Jay, he w^as too contemptible to die, and I soon 
sent him oiF also, and he w^ent oflf squealing, and yelling, 
and growling, as if I had done him a great injury in saving 
him from the hawk. My classmates laughed at me for spar- 
ing their lives, especially that of the hawk; but I stopped 
them by saying that I regretted that I did not keep the 
hawk to instruct the seminary in politeness and manners, 
and the jay for a living exhibition of depravity. I have 
given you a description of this boyish freak, not because I 
suppose it wnll interest you very much, but because I want 
you to understand that I expect hereafter to respect hawks 
and despise blue jays, and that I have about me a tender- 
ness of feeling that can spare even a hawk. 

"I suspect you will be obliged often to say, 'John, you 
must be more prudent in what you say or do ; you must be 
more economical :' but I trust you will never have to sa}^, 
' Don't be so mean ; do be generous and noble.' " 

"April 15th. 

"I have just received an invitation to become the editor 
of the Recorder and Telegraph for the last three weeks of 
vacation, which invitation, though not exactly what I like, 
I have concluded to accept. The wages will not be very 
great, but you know poor people like us must be content to 
labor. You are aware that our Rhetorical Society, which 
embraces the whole seminary, celebrates its anniversary the 
day preceding the anniversary of the seminary in September. 
We have two orators — one from the honorary members, and 
the other from the seminary. You may smile when you 
hear that the orators this year are — Doctor Griffin, President 

of Williams College ; and Todd, of the senior class ; and 

Colton, poet. The oration, which falls upon your humble 

9 



130 JOHN TODD. 

servant, is tlie highest honor which the seminary has the 
power of bestowing, as it comes from the voice of the stu- 
dents. It is peculiarly so this year, as Howe, the most ac- 
complished scholar of his age I ever met with, was also a 
candidate for it. We two were the only candidates, and the 
Middlebury students used every effort to get Howe elected, 
in order to raise their college." 

"May 22d. 

"I heard Doctor Griffin preach to-day. He is a large, tall, 
red-faced, flush-looking man — white hair, and small hazel 
eye — dressed in blue pantaloons and ruffled shirt. I was in- 
troduced to him, and urged to go to his place of abode, so I 
went and dined with him. He is a very pleasant man, agree- 
able in conversation, though rather egotistical. The whole 
subject of our conversation was the cause of Africa, in which 
his whole soul was deeply engaged. Our conversation was 
very interesting to me, and seemed to be so to him. He is 
an eloquent preacher, has a loud, sweet, and clear voice, and 
a great power in controlling it." 

"May 25th. 

" I have left my big house of a hotel, and live in the fam- 
ily of Mr. Willis, the proprietor of the Recorder. It is a 
great family as to numbers," Mr. Willis had a large family 
of children, some of whom afterward distinguished them- 
selves in the literary world. In some way or other, the 
young preacher was so unfortunate as to incur a displeasure 
which long years afterward dipped the pen of Fanny Fern 
in bitterness. 

"May 29th. 

"A few days since, a committee from Park Street, Old 
South, and Essex Street churches, waited on me, and in- 
formed me that I was appointed orator to deliver an address 
in Park Street Church before those churches on the Fourth 
of July next, 'in behalf of the cause of Africa.'" It was 
customary at that time, in many places, to celebrate the 
Fourth by a religious^ as well as a municipal, public service. 
The latter service, appointed and attended by the city au- 
thorities, was at that time held in the Old South Church, as 
of late years in the Music Hall. " This was very unexpected, 
and that for two reasons: (l.) They have never before had 
a less man than an ordained minister; (2.) I have no ac- 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 



131 



qnaintaiice in Boston, and can not see how I was sufficiently 
known to be appointed. If I succeed, it will be a great ad- 
vantage to me. Tlie subject of the oration is trite, distant, 
stale. If I fail, it will kill me as to all my prospects. I im- 
mediately called on Professors Porter and Woods (both of 
whom happened to be in the city), and laid the case before 
them. They feared my health would break down under the 
burden which I must necessarily endure this summer. They 
thought, too, it was a case of life and death — that I must 
put forth my mightiest exertions, or it would ruin me. But, 
on the whole, they decidedly advised me to accept of the 
appointment. I then called on my good cousin, Mr. Evarts, 
and asked him the same questions, stating ray exact situa- 
tion. He was pleased to see his Cousin John needing advice 
on such an occasion, and very freely advised me to undertake 
it. Accordingly I returned an answer that I would try to 
prepare myself for the occasion. What effect, you ask, will 
it have on the valedictory ? This is, probably, decided. If 
it is not decided, I should think it not likely to be given to 
me. Why? The trustees will know of my appointment at 
Boston, and they will not doubt, if they have any doubts on 
the subject now, that I am able to make something of a man 
in the world, and that I am worthy of the valedictory ; at 
the same time, they know that Howe is equally worthy, that 
he has not received any of the honors which I have received 
this year, and that I have now received as much honor as 
any young man can safely have bestowed upon him. I 
ought, in conscience, to be content. I have full as many ex- 
pectations excited as I can wish. Do not fail of praying for 
me daily, that I may be humble and holy, that I may be as- 
sisted in the duties before me, that I may be a devoted and 
useful minister of Jesus Christ." 

" June 26th. 
"On Monday evening, in company with Rood, I left the 
seminar}'- in a chaise, to meet the Suffolk Association at Ded- 
ham — a distance of thirty miles. I was almost sick, and 
glad of the ride. W^e staid at Medford with my friend War- 
ner that night. Rood lay down, and I went to a church 
conference, and talked, as usual. After that, I sat down and 
wrote my creed for the next day, then chatted with Warner 
till nearly morning. On Tuesday morning I rode with War- 



132 JOHX TODD. 

iier to Dedbam, fourteen miles, through Boston, to the house 
of Rev. Mr. Burgess. They live in princely style, in a large 
and delightful country-seat. Here I was to be examined 
for license. The Suffolk Association embraces the orthodox 
ministers of Boston and the vicinity. It was for this reason 
(viz., their high-toned orthodoxy) that I chose to be exam- 
ined by them. Our examination was pretty severe, com- 
mencing a little past ten, and ending a little after four. I 
believe I succeeded well enough, as they neither brou^it me 
to a dead set nor puzzled me. Mr. Fay was moderator, Mr. 
Wisner scribe ; just the men that I could have wished had I 
selected from the whole State. I know not precisely what 
opinion they had of me, but I felt conscious there was not a 
mind present which I feared. What pleased me most was, 
that the creed which I made out on the way lay before the 
association, and they made it a text-book from which to ask 
questions. The other candidates read sermons, but I did 
not, and I suppose it was because I was examined as much 
as all the other three. Every difficult point was laid on my 
shoulders. After the examination was over we had a sumpt- 
uous dinner. Governor Phillips presided, supported by 
Messrs. Burgess and Wisner. Mrs. Burgess was at the other 
end of the table. I presume Paul ate a very different din- 
ner when he was licensed. The table was large, richly 
adorned and served ; beef, pig, mutton, ham, turkey, three 
sorts of puddings, strawberries and cream, iced cream, iced 
wines, cherries, etc. After going through all the formalities 
of the table, toasts, etc., and after receiving our licensures, 
which were granted with the greatest readiness by every 
one present, we took leave of the association, and returned 
to Boston." 

"June 30th. 

"As to my oration, it is all written, but I can not have 
patience to commit it. I have been at work at it to-day, 
till it has become so insipid that it seems as if my audience 
must hoot me when I come to pronounce it. It is awfully 
long, and dry, and stupid." 

"July 1st. 

"I have dined twice and drunk tea twice to-day, in order 
to get along pleasantly. I have declined invitations, and 
gone to a boarding-house, because I wish to have a room re- 



LIFE AT AXDOVER. I33 

tired, where I can write. I remember, too, that Monday is 
approaching, and I want to be alone, where I can tremble 
at my leisure. They have printed a handbill containing a 
scheme of the order of exercises in Park Street Church on 
Monday, to be distributed at the opening of the meeting. 
This was never done before, and was done, the committee 
informed me, 'out of respect to the orator.' They are beau- 
tifully printed, and I will try to send you one, where you 
will see my name in glaring capitals." 

"July 4th. 

"At three o'clock my bell rang, and I walked toward Park 
Street. There were six ministers in the pulpit with me, and 
more than twice as many below. The audience was quite 
large." After the singing of two or three anthems, in which 
"the excellent choir usually officiating were assisted," ac- 
cording to one of the newspapers of the day, by eminent 
performers on violins and " flutes and soft recorders," and 
after " the Throne of Grace was addressed in a feeling man- 
ner" by a minister from abroad, "the address was deliv- 
ered by Mr. John Todd, of Andover Theological Seminary, 
and was a masterly efibrt. 

" I had a severe cold, and a sore throat which almost 
strangled me, yet I lived through it, and came off with full 
as much applause as even you could wish. I was something 
over an hour in delivering it. The audience w^as very still 
and very attentive ; I could not have wished it more so. 
Mr. Fay shook me warmly by the hand. After I had come 
out of the pulpit, two strangers came to me and inquired 
when they could see me." 

The two strangers proved to be a deputation from Hol- 
liston, who, after hearing his oration, offered him an urgent 
invitation to settle in that place. Having listened to their 
representations, he returned, without giving any answer, to 
the company he had left. 

Amidst all this excitement, there was one momentous 
question which was seldom out of his thoughts : should he 
devote himself to the foreign missionary work? Many were 
his deliberations and conversations and letters on the sub- 
ject. The young lady whom he had selected for his wife 
had signified her readiness to go with him wherever "the 
finger of Providence very clearly pointed." Her father 



134 JORX TODD. 

was unwilling that his child should leave the country, her 
mother still more so ; but no positive prohibition was in- 
terposed. For himself, he had been for years expecting to 
go as a missionary, though perhaps the idea had first been 
suggested by his intimacy in Mr. Evarts's family, rather 
than the impulses of his own mind. But as his powers had 
developed, and he had become conscious of them, and his 
ambition had awakened, he had shrunk more and more from 
the thought of burying himself in heathenism. And now, 
with the applause of the day ringing and the sweet breath 
of flattery still warm in his ear, it was "an awful subject." 
Still, he wished to do his duty, and 'he waited for indications 
of Providence; and, lest selfish and unholy feelings should 
unduly influence him, he wrote out, before retiring on. this 
day of excitement and triumj^h, a fervent prayer, and sent 
it to his betrothed, designing, apparently, to set the subject 
before the minds of both of them in the most solemn and 
tender manner by its petitions: "May we love one another 
with purity, with tenderness, with unreservedness, with con- 
stancy ; may we long live together ; may we make each 
other happy, useful, respectable, and holy ; may we live and 
labor together in the vineyard of Christ ; and wilt thou, O 
Spirit of Grace, direct us where to go, where to spend our 
lives, where we can be the most useful. Oh, shouldst thou, 
by thy providence, call us to go to some heathen land, may 
we be willing to go and labor and spend our lives for Christ 
our Redeemer." Having thus laid himself and his ambition 
and his love at the feet of infinite Wisdom and Strength, his 
wearied thoughts took wing from the noisy city, and the ex- 
citing scenes through which he was passing, and the prob- 
lems and struggles of the career that was opening before 
him, to hover for a moment over a quiet village and a peace- 
ful home, and an unconscious one who had given him the 
first and only real human love of any kind that had ever 
cheered his orphaned and lonely life : "And now, Protecting 
Power, send thy guardian angel to watch over my Mary 
while she slumbers this night. Let Peace kiss her pillow, 
let Mercy embalm her slumbers, let Health cover her with 
his mantle. May we long live to make each other happy, 
and, in our death, may we not long be separated." 
The prayer was answered. 



LIFE AT ANDOVEIt. 



CHAPTER X. 

LIFE AT ANDOVEE — Gontinued. 

A Disappointment. — A Saturday-afternoon Ride. — Groton. — The old Min 
ister. — An nnlooked-for Supply. — A Dinner-party. — Calls. — The Scholar- 
ship.— The Suicide. — A second Visit to Groton. — A Unitarian Church. — 
A Dilemma. — Dislikes to Go. — Honorable Intentions. — Graduates at An- 
dover. — Arrives at Groton. — A crowded House. — Meat for Lions.— What 
Unitarians say. — The Babbler. — Closely Watched. — Intends to split the 
Society. — An Epidemic. — Notes up. — Toddy on the Coffin. — Enemies and 
Friends. — The little Girl and her Chestnuts. — Toddites, — Thanksgiving- 
day. — Hurries away. — A Town in an Uproar. 

The gratification afforded by his success in Boston was 
almost immediately dampened by a great disappointment at 
Andover. The valedictory was given to Howe. This was 
in consequence of the adoption by the Faculty of an alto- 
gether new and unexpected rule, the justice of which it is 
difficult to perceive — that the man elected by the students 
as orator at the anniversary of the Rhetorical Society should 
not receive the valedictory appointment from the Faculty 
also. As Mr. Todd had already been elected to the first 
honor, he was by this rule excluded from the candidates for 
the other. In announcing the event to his future father-in- 
law, he shows very plainly that, in spite of all his attempts 
to prepare himself and his friends for this result, he was for 
the moment deeply disappointed and mortified. "I should 
like to have Mary read this letter, as I hate to tell her about 
the valedictory in her letter, though I don't really know as 
she cares about it." 

But there were events at hand which soon effaced the 
recollection of such boyish contests and disappointments. 
Already the young student stood unconsciously on the 
threshold of real life with its sterner battles. 

" August 13th, 1825. 

" On Saturday I received an invitation from a friend to 
ride with him. About two o'clock we entered the chaise, 
and after riding through an interesting country for twenty- 
eight miles, we arrived at Groton a little past sunset. I felt 



136 JOHN TODD. 

quite refreshed by the ride. Groton is a very delightful 
town about thirty miles from Boston. It has but one so- 
ciety and one meeting-house, though it contains over two 
thousand people. On entering the town, I was delighted 
with the natural scenery, which is really enchanting. I was 
immediately introduced to the minister, Doctor Chaplin, a 
venerable old man, more than eighty years of age. He was 
quite ill, and here I first began to suspect the snare into 
which my friend had drawn me. You must know they are 
all Unitarians, and hate Andover worse than poison. The 
good doctor is a kind of Arminian, a man of commanding 
talents, and, I doubt not, a go-to-heaven-man; still, he has 
made all his people Unitarians. He was glad to see me, 
never heard of me before, was prepossessed in my favor at 
my appearance, for I was dressed handsomely — a thing 
which strikes Unitarians at once — and immediately urged 
me to preach the next day. What could I do ? I was not 
well enough, and yet here was a glorious opportunity to 
show Unitarians how Andover and orthodoxy could aj^pear. 
You know my temperament so well that you will presume I 
did not long hesitate. The morning came. Doctor Chap- 
lin was unable to go out ; I went into the pulpit ; the con- 
gregation all stared ; no one knew who I was, or where I 
came from. It was tine sport to take them by surprise. I 
gave them one of my most popular sermons, and I never saw 
an audience so still. At noon they gathered around my 
friend, inquiring who it could be, and put money into his 
hand to pay our expenses, even before I came out of the 
pulpit. They knew not that Andover was like this. The 
afternoon went off equally well. After meeting, at night, I 
was invited to a dinner-party, which, I am sorry to say, I at- 
tended ; not that I sinned very greatly, but because I could 
not enjoy myself in a company where nothing but politics, 
and roads, and canals, and birds, etc., was discussed. I 
could not introduce religion. In the evenins* I visited sev- 
eral families; was everywhere treated with the utmost re- 
spect and kindness. They were so surprised that an Ando- 
ver man could preach, that they did not hesitate to express 
their delight. Had they previously known that an Andover 
student was to preach, I presume there would not have been 
a hundred at meeting ; but should it be known that I was to 



LIFE AT AXDOVER. I37 

preach there again, I presume there would be fifteen hun- 
dred present. We left early on Monday morning, had a de- 
lightful ride back, and I felt no other effects of my preaching 
than a severe headache. 

" Since I wrote you I have had the following distinct of- 
fers : (1.) A mission to Maine, on an exploring tour, for a year 
or less, as I please ; eight dollars a week and my expenses 
defrayed. (2.) A mission to Virginia for six months; same 
salary. (3.) A mission to South Carolina; twelve dollars a 
week, and part of the expenses defrayed. (4.) A mission in 
Savannah, Georgia, for six months ; same salary. On mature 
reflection, I have declined accepting any of these offers. I 
could succeed pretty well in any of them, but still none of 
them suits me. In rejecting them I have gone in accord- 
ance with the advice of Doctor Porter, on whose judgment 
I place great reliance. The next offer is t\\Q felloicshij) at 
the seminary. It has now been offered me formally, and I 
have it under consideration. It amounts to this : I may re- 
side at the seminary one or more years, as I please. My 
board, room, library, tuition, and washing are all given me. 
I am to select my own course of study, which must be ap- 
proved by the Prudential Committee, and in which I am 
liable at any time to be examined. I must stand ready to 
preach twice at an hour's warning. I may preach abroad, 
for pay, fourteen Sabbaths a year, besides twelve Sabbaths 
in vacation. I may leave at any time that I have a good 
call to go — so good that the committee shall approve of it. 
My expenses will be clothes, wood, light, and postage, all of 
which, I suppose, I could pay for by preaching. The ob- 
jections to it are, that my health needs a change, and my 
debts need reducing. The advantages would be, great op- 
portunities for mental and moral improvement, and a good 
stand from which to take a good settlement, whenever I did 
settle. The probability is, that if I should stay I should not 
settle as soon, but should settle better. Doctor Porter says 
it is my decided duty to accejDt it; that he has not a doubt 
on the subject ; that it is the best offer the country can pre- 
sent a young man, unless a peculiar providence calls him 
into immediate service, in which case I could go. I am 
now inclined to think I shall accept it. I suppose this ap- 
pointment means I had not better think of becoming a mis- 



138 JOHX TODD. 

sionary abroad. Doctor Porter seems to wish to get me 
into a city, but I do not covet it." 

"August 26th. 

"Mr. Evarts and Mr. Fay and Doctor Woods have their 
hands on me still for the Palestine mission. They hang on 
heavily, and I say nothing. The}^ are so anxious that I 
should go, that I presume, from what Mr. Evarts said last 
week, they would be willing to have me go for three years 
only, and then return, and not go again unless I chose. 

"It is quite sickly in the seminary. Doctor Murdock and 
others are sick with the fever, and I am with some of them 
most of the time. Last night I watched with Doctor Mur- 
dock. I value myself on being a good nurse, and love to 
take care of the sick. Doctor Murdock is very fond of hav- 
ing me at his bedside. 

"Last Sabbath I preached twice for Mr. Wayland, and in 
the evening for Mr. Greene, in Essex Street. To-morrow I 
am to go again to Boston, to preach for Mr. Wayland. Our 
laws will not allow a student to receive pay for preaching, 
and the good clergymen around us, who make it a holiday 
at this time, well understand it, and never give us a cent 
over what is barely sufficient to pay our expenses. I presume 
I shall preach abroad as many as seven Sabbaths this term, 
and shall not receive a shilling over Avhat my traveling fees 
amount to. Still, the ride usually does me good, and I thus 
become known. Hallock has already besought me to edit 
two numbers of his paper for him, at the commencement of 
vacation, as he says the papers which I manufacture are bet- 
ter than his own. I have not promised him that I will, or 
will not. As we must get our livelihood ' by our wits,' as 
Burns says, it is necessary that I be active and seize em- 
ployment whenever it offers to suit me. I have no idea of 
our starving." 

"September 10th. 

"About the time of my visit to Groton, a young lady had 
been disappointed in love. She attended meeting all day, 
and, I suppose, was deranged. On her return home she 
said that I had preached at her individually all day. The 
consequence was, that the next day, or the next but one, she 
cut her throat. The Unitarians soon spread the report that 
the poor girl was scared into suicide by my ' brimstone ser- 



LIFE AT AND OVER. I39 

mon.' This, of course, I did not hear for some time after- 
ward. It did not trouble me, though I supposed it might 
have killed my influence in Groton. Last week, on Wednes- 
day evening, I received a letter from that place, requestino- 
me to come and preach for them again. Immediately I 
began to write a sermon adapted to their circumstances, 
watched w^ith Crosby on Thursday night, and finished my 
sermon about midnight. Saturday I rode to Groton, where 
I was cordially received by the family of the old minister. 
On the Sabbath, went into the pulpit ; the Unitarians scoid; 
have eleven notes for the sick ; preach twice, and come oft' 
with greater popularity than before. Judge Dana and Sen- 
ator Lawrence both invited me to a Sunday dinner. I had 
foreseen the snare, and had made an appointment to go and 
visit the sick the remainder of the Sabbath. They were dis- 
appointed, but there was no help for it. I had my sympa- 
thies much enlisted in behalf of this people, all brought up 
in the gayeties of this world, and with very little or no pros- 
pect of settling a minister who will guide them to heaven, 
for they will undoubtedly settle a Unitarian. 

"I wrote this morning to Hallock that I should not ac- 
cept of his ofier. I am confident m}^ health has suflered in 
consequence of my being an editor in vacation." 

" September 23d. 

"Next Tuesday and Wednesday are our great anniver- 
saries. I have both my pieces written, and partially com- 
mitted to memory. The employment of my life seems so 
vast, that I think but little of one occasion *on which I am 
to speak. The trustees have off*ered a fellowship to Howe 
and myself — each a fellowship — for the coming year, and I 
think we shall both stay. 

" Something over forty - six years ago a young minister 
was settled in Groton by the name of Chaplin. He is now 
Doctor Chaplin. He married into a gay, worldly family, a 

sister of Judge P . This family have since all become 

Unitarians. As Groton was a beautiful and fashionable 
place, and as Ire had married such a girl, the consequence 
was that he was drawn away into the vortex of fashionable 
society. He attended balls, parties, card -parties, played 
blindfold, etc. The next consequence was, that, however or- 
thodox his head might be, his heart was cold, and he could 



140- JOHX TODD. 

not, and did not, preach faithfully, and to the conscience, on 
the Sabbath. What was first of necessity soon became a 
liabit, and the consequence is, that all, or nearly all, of his 
congregation have become fashionable Unitarians. More 
than two thousand people belong to this society, and I suj)- 
pose the widest cloak of charity could not cover mgre than 
twenty or twenty-five pious people in the place. The church 
is all rotten. Some of the leading men in town are deists 
and infidels. The church has never been disciplined, and 
these men belong to it. The town has a fund nearly large 
enough to support a minister, another to support a large 
academy ; it has a female academy also, and a kind of law 
school. I consider the town as given over to Unitarianism. 
Nothing on earth can save it except the almighty power of 
God. The few pious people are mourning in secret. Doc- 
tor Chaplin is over eighty years of age, is just dropping into 
bis grave, and now begins to tremble for his people. You 
know I preached once to this people, before they knew what 
I was. All parties applauded. The Unitarians went too 
far in praising to retract immediately. The orthodox had 
no wish to retract. This gave the few pious people cour- 
age. They sent for me again. I went. The Unitarians 
were still mostly silent ; they winced, but said but little. 
The pious were still more encouraged. The next step was 
for the pious people silently to raise a subscription, and in- 
vite me to come there a few Sabbaths, not as a candidate, 
but as assistant minister to Doctor Chaplin, hoping that a 
good impression in favor of piety may be made on the town, 
and that, for a few Sabbaths at least, they may hear faithful 
preaching. This is the invitation which I have received, 
and this is the business which prevents my coming to you 
immediately. I have thought of the subject in its various 
lights, and, according to the decided advice of the professors 
and Mr. Evarts, I have concluded that it is my duty to go. 
I anticipate not much comfort. I shall have many proud 
hearts rising up against my preaching. All the great men 
will at once array themselves against me. Who, you ask, 
will be for me? Truly, unless Jesus Christ and a few pray- 
ing women take my part, I shall have to wade in hot water. 
Do I anticipate ever settling among them ? No ; they will 
not have an orthodox preacher. There is no prospect of 



LIFE AT AXDOVEE. 141 

that ; and even if they would, I have no wish to go there. 
Why do they not get a popular Unitarian ? Because the 
old minister will not let one go into his pulpit while he 
lives. The moment he dies they will have a Unitarian ; and 
the prospect is, that, for generations to come, they will be led 
away by this bewitching delusion of Satan. I shall have no 
confidant, none to uphold my hands. Doctor Chaplin has a 
son of just my age, a graduate of Cambridge, and now a stu- 
dent in law with Judge Dana. He does not profess to be 
pious, but is orthodox up to the ne plus. It is he who is at 
the bottom of all this. He it is who is the means of getting 
me to Groton. It is really affecting to see the old man, who 
has for fifty years been preaching his people to ruin, now 
starting up just as he is about to drop into the grave, and 
the young man, who makes no pretensions to religion, try- 
ing to pull the society out of the mire. He will be the only 
man with whom I shall dare to converse freely." 

It was not without hesitation that he accepted this invita- 
tion to Groton. In replying to his friend, William L. Chap- 
lin, through whom the invitation had come, he wrote : 

"I took a letter in each hand, and placed myself in Doctor 
Porter's study. One was from Ohio, giving me a flattering 
invitation to visit Marietta; the other was from yourself. 
These I read to Doctor Porter, and then asked his advice as 
to the course to pursue. He thought the Marietta offer a 
good one — an important station, and an uncommonly good 
berth for one's comfort. Still, he thinks your town in so 
critical and peculiar a situation, that, should I have a hishop- 
ric ofiered me, it is unquestionably my duty to refuse it, and 
go to Groton, for a short time at least. I have accordingly 
made up my mind not to go to Ohio at present ; and, unless 
something should take place of which I am now ignorant, I 
accept of your invitation, and shall be in Groton before the 
Sabbath succeeding our anniversary, two weeks hence. In 
coming to this conclusion, if I know my own feelings, I have 
been actuated more by the interest I feel for your town than 
an expectation of personal enjoyment. Not that I shall be 
unhappy in Groton — your society would forbid this; still, 
there are very many unpleasant things to be expected. It 
is unpleasant to go invited only by a/6?(?, feeling conscious 
that many abhor the sight of you ; unpleasant to labor in 



142 JOHN TODD. 

such a church, aud with so many prejudices arrayed against 
you. Yet tlie woi'k itself is pleasant, and probably few tri- 
als are without tlieir real advantages. Trials, like the hurri- 
canes of the Atlantic, may carry dismay, yet they commonly 
purify in their progress. The pearls of the greatest value 
are said to grow in the most troubled waters, and the poor 
diver risks neck and limb in obtaining them." 

In accepting this invitation he also resolved to do and 
allow nothing which the strictest sense of honor would not 
approve. "You know my feeling, that nothing but a faith- 
ful, devoted minister can raise your town for this life, or fit 
your people for the next. To get such a minister is ex- 
tremely desirable. Still, no dishonorable means should be 
used. We will not do evil that good may come. If pru- 
dent, straightforward, yet energetic exertions will not ef- 
fect the object, we must conclude that God has other de- 
signs, and yield to his providence." 

"October 4th. 

"I was almost made sick by the severe duties of our an- 
niversary. I preached for Mr. Fay, in Charlestown, on the 
Sabbath ; returned Monday. I came oif pretty well on 
Tuesday, the anniversary of the Porter Rhetorical Society; 
pleased about every body except Doctor Chaplin, of Rocky 
Hill, Connecticut, and even him on Wednesday. On the 
latter day my piece was universally and excessively pop- 
ular." His theme on Tuesday was, " The Peculiar Motives 
which bear upon Christian Preachers in this Country to ex- 
cite them to cultivate Sacred Eloquence ;" and on Wednes- 
day, " The Sublimity of the Preacher's Work." " I will say 
to you that Z wrote the piece read by X , the most pop- 
ular piece in the forenoon. He gave me seven dollars for 
doing it, and I must not mention it. He got more reputa- 
tion by it than by all he ever did in his life. It was ap- 
plauded to the skies. I laughed in my sleeve, and so may 
you. He must feel queer, or qneerish. On Thursday I 
parted with all my classmates, with many pangs. Rode to 
Boston Thursday morning; walked to Cambridgeport, and 
dined with the celebrated Doctor Chaplin." This Doctor 
James P. Chaplin was the elder son of Doctor Chaplin, of 
Groton, and an eminent physician. "Returned to Boston; 
attended a large tea-party at Mr. Willis's; in the evening 



LIFE AT AXLOVER. 143 

attended the ordination of several of my classmates ; was 
wearied beyond description. 

"I arrived in Groton on Friday. The pulpit had been 
supplied the two preceding Sabbaths by a Mr. Gage, a Uni- 
tarian from the Cambridge school, the valedictorian of his 
class in college. The Unitarians hugged him, clapped him. 
I was to follow, and for orthodoxy to follow was like vine- 
gar after honey. Sabbath came ; the whole town was ex- 
cited, bustling, and fuming. The house was crowded, all 
staring. I preached. They were still, lost not a word, and 
through the day the house was in a breathless silence. The 
few poor pious people wept through the day. The Unita- 
rians raved, after meeting, beyond conception. I gave them 
orthodoxy with a decision and boldness that awed them 
while listening. I have no idea of tampering. Prudent I 
hope I shall be, but God forbid I lower the everlasting con- 
ditions of his word for the fear of man." 

Perhaps the reader is a little curious to know with what 
kind of meat this young Daniel, thrown into this Unitarian 
den, fed the lions. His theme in the afternoon was, Christ 
weeping over Jerusalem, and the lesson that he derived fiom 
it was, that Christians ought to feel deeply for those who 
are destitute of religion. (I.) Because the example of Christ 
requires it ; (II.) Because the irreligious have no happiness 
that is satisfying; and (III.) Because they have a gloomy 
prospect for eternity. In the course of his remarks on the 
third head, he said : 

"Paul says, 'They that obey not the Gospel of our Lord 
Jesus Christ shall be punished with everlasting destruction 
from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his 
power.' Everlasting destruction from the presence of the 
Lord ! Oh, I can conceive of the sufferer clinging to the 
fragment of the vessel which has been shattered by the 
storm, in the darkness of midnight; the ocean has been 
lashed into convulsions, the storm has brought destruction 
on its wings ; his companions have mingled their last shrieks 
with the bowlings of the tempest, as they sunk into the 
yawnings of the abyss ; and as the poor sufferer is tossed 
from one wave to another, hearing nothing but the hollow 
roar of the great waters, seeing nothing but the whitened 
waves, how longr does the nicrht seem ! and with what ago- 



144 JOHN TODD. 

nized feelings does he look toward the heavens to see some 
ray of morning ! and how does he feel as if the sun had for- 
gotten to rise ! I can conceive oi such agony; but oh, who 
can conceive of the misery of 'everlasting destruction from 
the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power !' 
there to linger out eternity, as it piles its ages on ages; 
there to gaze on an ocean whose every wave seems reddened 
with w^rath, with no sun to rise on this gloom of night, no 
beam of hope to send its thrillings into the bosom of despair ! 
And when Christians look at the prospects which lie before 
the man who dies without possessing religion, how ought 
they deeply to commiserate his situation, and w^ith tears 
point him to the ark of safety, whose door is now open ! 

"I hear something of what the Unitarians say. One says, 
' That fellow can preach now, for he has been years in writ- 
ing his sermons; any fool could do it; but he won't wear.' 
Another says, ' Because they've got a great orator here, they 
reckon to put their brimstone preaching on us.' A third 
calls the eternal God to witness that I shall not stay in town 
long, A fourth says, ' Though he doesn't singe us now, yet 
every body who comes from Andover has hell-fire enough 
to send us all to misery.' There are two things which the 
Unitarians here fear prodigiously ; first, lest I should pro- 
duce a revival of religion, which they call 'a religious stir,' 
and abhor beyond all horrors ; and, second, lest I produce an 
impression in favor of orthodoxy that will lead the people 
to w^ish to settle an orthodox preacher. To prevent these 
dreadful catastrophes, the first men spend their time in rid- 
ing through the town all the week, to do away the impres- 
sion I make on the Sabbath. My duties are very severe. I 
have to write two sermons for every Sabbath, preach twice 
during the week extempore, and visit the sick. You may 
presume that Mr. Todd, who is now the only subject of talk 
in the whole town and region, is no unimportant man among 
them. When I attend a weekly meeting the house is crow^d- 
ed to excess ; when I attend a funeral, I am followed by 
nearly the whole town ; you may see the house filled — 
every corner, the doors, windows, and the very house sur- 
rounded by the gaping multitude, all listening to hear what 
' this babbler' will say. Last Sabbath I had men out to hear 
me that had not been before for ten years. You may won- 



LIFE AT ANBOVER. I45 

der how I live amidst so much excitement. I wonder my- 
self; but I do not, and will not, consider myself as a can- 
didate for settlement here, only as an assistant to Doctor 
Chaplin, so that I feel perfectly independent, as it respects 
myself. I care not a whit what they say or do, provided 
they do not shoot me. It may give you some relief to know 
that I have no personal enemies ; that is, no one objects to 
my manner, to my writing, voice, or personal appearance. 
It is the matter which they hate. You would pity me, to 
see how closely I am watched. My every look, gesture, and 
word is remembered. For myself I feel no concern, except 
for my health. For the cause of pure religion I feel deeply. 
I have no expectation that they will ever have a pious or- 
thodox minister here, but there are already, by my preach- 
ing, a few who are anxious for their souls, and for them I 
feel. My responsibility is so great that it destroys my sleep, 
and, I fear, will soon wear upon my health. I saw wood ev- 
ery morning before breakfast for exercise, and ride in the aft- 
ernoon. I board at Doctor Chaplin's, and the whole family 
are very kind to me. The result of my labors here, should 
my health continue, will probably be a most severe struggle 
between orthodoxy and Unitarianism. That the latter will 
obtain the conquest, I have no doubt. Still, I trust it will 
do the people good. The Unitarians are the great men, the 
rich, the influential. The poor orthodox tremble and quake 
before them — all but young Chaplin and myself; we fear 
them not. He is a fine fellow, and is, were he pious, a man 
after my own heart. I have enjoyed personal religion much 
since I have been here, and have no fears except for my 
health. The neighboring towns are wondering, and sit mute 
in astonishment to see an Andover student in the pulpit at 
Groton. It does all seem providential, and it is not impos- 
sible that God has good in store for this truly desolate place. 
Some few of my hearers have sworn that they will never 
again hear me preach ; but they will. They attend the fu- 
nerals, and will be present wherever I am called to speak. 
There were more people at meeting last Sabbath than there 
have been for fifteen years. I presume it will be so next 
Sabbath. I preach tenderly at the conscience, let doctrines 
alone, preach heaven and hell, and the responsibility of man ; 
take depravity as granted, and acknowledge it in my public 

10 



146 JOHN TODD. 

prayers ; speak of the Trinity, Saviour, and Holy Spirit, as 
if no one ever questioned the doctrines. I can not set this 
town all by the ears, as I shall, without having it known 
abroad. To God I look for a blessing, or all is vain." 

" October 17th. 

"You make me smile when you say you don't know but 
I may have a call to settle here. You don't know the power 
of Unitarianism. The Unitarians become more silent, and 
intend to let the matter go off as well as they can. They 
come not near me. I should be caressed, were I only of 
their sentiments. Oh that I were more worthy to suffer 
such reproach as Christ endured ! Last week I jDreached 
four times in Groton, a preparatory lecture in Pepperell, and 
a lecture in Littleton. The object in going out of town was 
to have a reaction upon Groton ; that is, in the same propor- 
tion as orthodoxy is popular in consequence of my going-out 
of town, in that proportion will the news return, and make it 
popular here. I have no expectation of bringing this great 
town over to orthodoxy, but I intend to split it, so that an 
orthodox society can grow out of it. This will be no small 
triumph, and no small blessing to the town. You must not 
think I am elated with my popularity. I have enough to 
humble me, many bitter things said against me and my re- 
ligion. I should feel very bad if I were a candidate here ; 
but I am only an assistant, and am independent. You will 
see by my calculations that I can not be at Andover for 
three or four weeks after the commencement of the term. 
The committee of the seminary understand it all, and will 
excuse it. As to not being at study, I never studied harder 
than now. I have been more with sickness and death than 
in all the rest of my life. Sometimes I have twelve or thir- 
teen notes up in one prayer. This at first troubled me ; but 
I now classify, load my memory, and cut through all as well 
as I can." The occasion of so much sickness was an epi- 
demic influenza of a very severe type which was prevalent 
throughout the country. "At their funerals here, they in- 
variably hand round rum, brandy, and wine, and the bearers 
are often intoxicated." He used to say that he had seen 
them beating up toddy on the coffin ! 

"I am in hopes the poor orthodox people will get over 
their fright before I leave. When I first came, the Unitari- 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 14 V 

ans shouted so loudly that they scared the orthodox, all but 
Chaplin and myself; but I have taken so bold and decided a 
course, that the scared ones are beginning to gather courage. 
It takes the Unitarians a whole week, in riding and talking 
and blustering, to do aw^ay the impression made on the Sab- 
bath, and even then they do not half accomplish their end." 

" October 31st. 
" My congregations on the Sabbath are immense. Yester- 
day there was a fuller house than has been known for forty 
years, and the house is prodigiously large. For a week back 
I have been ill — caught a severe cold at an evening lecture ; 
yet I preached five times, yea, six times last week, besides 
three funerals. Amidst all the talk about me, you may pre- 
sume there is much of good and much of bad. It is true 1 
have many warm admirers, and some bitter enemies. The 
Unitarians hate me, curse me, yet all come to hear me. The 
women especially are almost universally my friends, and so 
are all the poor, the lame, the halt, and the blind, and so are 
all the little children. A lady mentioned to a little girl, to 
whom I had never spoken, that Mr. Todd was to leave in 
three weeks. She burst into tears, and said she would pick 
up chestnuts three weeks to pay me, if I would stay. The 
Unitarians have some peculiar phrases which they apply to 
those who flock to my meetings, such as Todd-crazy, Todd- 
mad, and Todd-mania." For years they were called " Todd- 
ites." "They want me to stay and preach on Thanksgiv- 
ing-day, but I shall get off, as I now think, by pleading my 
health. The Unitarians here are prodigiously afraid of a re- 
vival of religion. They dread that more than any thing else. 
You presume, by my writing, that I am buried up in the 
good of Groton. I am so. I dream about them, think about 
them, talk about them all the time. One thing you may be 
sure of, that it will cost Unitarianism great labor and time 
to get the wound healed that it has received since I have 
been here. People are my constant hearers w^ho have not 
been into the house of God for ten, fifteen, or even thirty 
years. I preach at the conscience^ and press man's account- 
ability severely, and say but little about 'brimstone.' They 
feel the shoe pinch prodigiously, but know not exactly what 
makes it. They feel no flames of hell, and yet are in torture, 
and can not account for it. I know what the matter is, and 



148 JOHN TODD. 

lay on. The ministers around me are mostly Unitarians, and 
do not come near me. The whole reoion is watchino- me. I 
have hearers from the neighboring towns every Sabbath." 

"November 21st. 

" I can not be with you at Thanksgiving. I never w^as so 
disappointed. I expected to set out this morning, but have 
been overpersuaded to stay and preach to this truly pitia- 
ble people on that day. I say truly pitiable, because the 
town is torn and rent in pieces, and I am the cause. The 
Unitarians are wide awake, and the whole town is in a dread- 
ful tumult. Xobody blames me ; but truly my heart is 
melted for this town. God only knows what is in reserve for 
them. I shall go into the pulpit on Thursday at precisely 
half-past ten o'clock, shall preach, and, the moment the serv- 
ices are over, shall get into the stage and go home. I can 
sleep but poorly, and could not stand it much longer. I am 
glad I have only one more discourse to wn-ite." 

This resolution was punctually executed. He had had no 
vacation for many months, and after so much excitement, 
especially, he was in great need of rest. The eight weeks 
for w^iich he had been hired were now fully past. The mo- 
ment, therefore, that the services of Thanksgiving-day were 
ended, he hurried away, to bury himself, after a short visit 
in Newington, in the retirement and quiet study of the sem- 
inary, leaving the scene of his brief ministry in a tremendous 
uproar. 



LIFE AT ANDOVJ£M. 149 



CHAPTER XI. 

LIFE AT AXDOVER — Continued. 

Reasons for Flight— Defeat. — A stormy World.— Retirement.— Rumors.— 
The Petition. — A wild Congregation. — Petition rejected. — Claim of the 
old Pastor. — A Night Ride. — Moderation advised. — Constables at the 
Church-door. — A Council. — A Committee handled without Gloves. — The 
Call answered. — A Broad-axe Sermon. — A Sunday at Portsmouth. — The 
first Sermon in a new Church. — Genuine Drudgery. — Another Defeat. — 
Another Council. — Compromise rejected. — An Invitation accepted. — 
Dread.— Good-bye to Andover, 

There were other reasons for the hurried flight from Gro- 
toii than the longing for rest and quiet. The friends of Mr. 
Todd had determined to bring the question which agitated 
the town to an issue, and he did not wish to be present 
during the struggle. Already, on the 14th of November, 
the church had met and voted — seventeen to eight — to call 
him to settle wdth them in the ministry, as co-pastor with 
Doctor Chaplin. According to the usages of Congregation- 
alism, it was necessary that this vote should be confirmed by 
a vote of the imrish^ which at that time comprehended all 
the legal voters in town. A town meeting w^as therefore 
called for the day after Thanksgiving, at wiiich the friends 
of Mr. Todd were defeated at every point, and a committee 
was chosen to supply the pulpit. 

To WiUia)7i L. Chaplin. 

" Newington, Conn., December 1st. 
"Your letter arrived yesterday. I was prepared to re- 
ceive just the tidings which it contained. Since leaving 
you, I have walked as a distant spectator, with my arms 
folded, and have rejoiced not a little to get into a more 
peaceful region. You tell me to hold myself in readiness. 
I trust I ne^d not tell you that I am sufficiently interested 
for you, and that I feel grateful for the many kindnesses of 
your family and of my friends in Groton ; but since my re- 
treat, I confess I feel but little disposition to encounter an- 



150 JOHN TODD. 

other such warfare. Should I be called again among you, it 
is evident that it must be a party concern, and will place me 
in a situation much more trying to my feelings than that 
through which I lately passed. Your imagination may now 
find me in a pretty parlor, with a Franklin stove and neat 
carpet, sitting at my ease at the writing-desk of a lovely 
young lady, leaning on my left elbow, and musing over Gro- 
ton, with your little letter lying before me. It is cloudy 
without, but there is sunshine above these clouds ; it is a 
stormy world, but there is one above it where storms are 
unknown. My health is good, but, as I expected, my spirits 
are somewhat depressed after so much excitement. Give my 
best love to your good father and mother — to the ladies 
whose pies I used to steal, and who were exceedingly kind 
to me, and to whom I feel very greatly obligated. The 
' hoobub ' has doubtless thinned the number of my admirers 
and friends. Thank them all for their kindnesses to me." 

On his return to Andover, he was met by a messenger 
from Dunstable, New Hampshire, who brought him an invi- 
tation to preach in that place as a candidate. "As I would 
not, and could not, be considered as a candidate there, I re- 
fused at once. 

" I found Howe was here, and had concluded to board in 
commons this winter, on account of his lameness. Of course 
he needed to room in the seminary. After talking the mat- 
ter over with him, I concluded to let him have the room 
alone, as I was convinced that we should both study more. 
I ought to say that he was very honorable in his feelings. 
Doctor Murdock has consented to receive me into .his family." 

This was no small sacrifice, as it involved the surrender 
of a large part of the advantages of the fellowship. There 
were, however, some benefits to be derived from it. " (1.) I 
want Doctor Murdock's conversation, which I now enjoy full 
two hours every day. (2.) I have his whole library at com- 
mand. (3.) Mrs. Murdock is a good, motherly woman, and 
will take the best of care of me if I am sick. (4.) I shall nec- 
essarily see much good society from abroad, and thus brush 
ofi" some of my rusticity of manners, and have my spirits 
cheered by a pleasing variety. (5.) I have a large good room, 
carpeted, and every convenience heart could wish. It is the 



LIFE AT AND OVER. ]51 

same room in which Gibbs translated his Hebrew lexicon. 
Mrs. Murdock is very neat, the family very agreeable, and 
their table elegantly and sumptuously spread. Mr. Stuart 
says it is the best place to study in town. My friends seem 
to fear I shall study too hard ; and even Mr. Evarts endeav- 
ored to make me believe I should go into immediate con- 
sumption if I study too hard. I told him he made me think 
of the wisdom of the old lady, wishing to scare her daugh- 
ter by telling her that her salt would be poisonous if it was 
pounded too fine." 

In this peaceful retirement he spent several weeks, occu- 
pied wholly with his books, and hardly knowing any thing 
of the outside world or the stormy scenes that he had left. 
Indeed, even his efforts to learn a little of what was going on 
were almost fruitless. Absolute silence seemed to have fallen 
around him. " I am at my studies, pretty much buried up ; 
hear little of the world, and care less. I am all alone, and in- 
tend to be the rest of the year. Were it not for my debts, 
I never was so happy before. Besides these, not a care trou- 
bles me. I sometimes look forward, but as I can see nothing^ 
I come back again, and enjoy my present existence. I like 
my boarding-place very much ; and, taking my own way in 
my studies, I hope to make some advancement. I write no 
sermons, nor any thing else. My studies are mostly of the 
severe kind, and require no writing. I have no inducement 
to write sermons, as I have enough (such as they are) to 
preach in any place to which I may be called. I look for- 
ward to no definite prospect for life. Should there be no 
opening for me between this and next fall, I shall push for 
New Orleans or the Western country." 

Gradually, however, the commotions of the outside world 
made themselves felt, even in the still waters of this schol- 
arly seclusion. Reports began to come that " all Groton 
was in a tumult," and " wild with excitement," and that the 
town was "shaken to its foundations." Presently more defi- 
nite accounts arrived. Undismayed by their discomfiture in 
town meeting, the orthodox party got up a petition, and cir- 
culated it through the town on a " cold Tuesday," praying 
the committee for supplying the pulpit to employ a candi- 
date, and that Mr. Todd be this candidate. " It was signed 
only by regular voters, and contained a majority of nearly 



152 JOHN TODD. 

or quite fifty of all the voters in Groton. This was won- 
derful. The committee are in a sad predicament. If they 
grant it, and I go there, they fear it is death to their j^arty. 
If they refuse, as they probably will, it will bring odium upon 
them, and make their party more and more unpopular. No- 
body, not even the petitioners, supposes they will have the 
liberality to grant it. I hope to hear from Chaplin soon, but 
he hardly dares write me, for fear his letters will be picked 
at the office." 

Pending the result of this petition, "I concluded, in conse- 
quence of receiving a letter from Doctor Chaplin, of Cam- 
bridgeport, to go down; so on Saturday I visited a little in 
Boston, and walked to Doctor Chaplin's. Here I found the 
old Doctor Chaplin, from Groton, who seemed very glad to 
see me. I was soon introduced to the Rev. Mr. Gannett, the 
Unitarian minister, for whom, at Doctor Chaplin's request, I 
was to preach. I could see at once that he was sorry to see 
me ; but as Doctor Chaplin had requested him to invite me 
to preach, and as Doctor Chaplin pays sixty dollars annually 
toward his salary, he could not refuse. Behold me, then, on 
the Sabbath in a Unitarian pulpit, the minister by my side 
trembling like a leaf I went home with him at noon, and 
sat down to a sumptuous dinner — real Unitarian. His wife 
is a beautiful creature, gay, dressy, and extravagantly fond 
of company. Mr. Gannett and myself both shunned any 
ground on which we should clash, and were both embar- 
rassed. I thought he did not appear to think me much to 
be feared ; but after I commenced the services it was differ- 
ent. People sat in astonishment, looking as wild as a hur- 
ricane. At noon Mr. Gannett gave me several hints about 
how he never preached doctrines, how he never offended his 
hearers, seemed very anxious to know my subject, etc. ; but I 
kept him wholly in the dark, and pretended not to under- 
stand his hints. He must have thought me a stupid creature. 
In the afternoon his congregation looked still more wild, and 
as still as if in the presence of death. They never had any 
thing like it. Curious stuff is this orthodoxy. Mr. Gannett 
never thanked me, but said he should remember my kindness ; 
and I very much mistake if he does 7iot remember it for a long- 
time to come. His church is very large and handsome, but 
has not much of a congregation in it. It was a charming 



LIFE AT AND OVER. I53 

place to speak in. In the evening I preached for Rev. Mr. 
Jacobs, a Baptist. The house was crowded, and very warm. 
As neither he nor Mr. Gannett would take part in the exer- 
cises, I was not a little fatigued ; and here I caught my severe 
cold, going out from this warm house. The Baptists seemed 
delighted, but greatly wondered how such a preacher could 
get into a Unitarian pulpit. Many of them were acquainted 
at Groton, and quickly concluded that Groton people will 
never bear such preaching ; and I more than fear their an- 
ticipations are correct. Doctor Chaplin was kind enough to 
pay my expenses, and Mrs. Chaplin gave me two new white 
linen pocket-handkerchiefs, or, rather, two 'flourishes;' so 
that now, when I preach, and use one of my 'flourishes,' I 
need not reflect I have only one more." 

To William L. Chaplin. 

" January lOth, 1826. 

"By a letter received from Cambridgeport last Saturday, 
I have learned that the petition was rejected, for two rea- 
sons : (1.) Unfairness in getting subscribers; and (2.) Can- 
didate engaged. This was all I learned, except that j^er- 
haps you would think of a town meeting soon. The game 
you are playing is a mighty game. Doctor Porter told me 
yesterday that no state question for many years had awak- 
ened so much interest; all eyes are turned toward you, all 
are watching, all are anxious. Seldom has a question been 
pending on which so many were looking with interest so 
intense. You must raise your minds and exertions to a 
level with your station. There is no drawing back. God 
Almighty seems to have placed you as you are, and you 
must go onicard. The sympathies and the prayers of many 
attend you. It is a heavy throw. All are anxious here, as 
they are also in Boston, and all the region round about." 

The next move in the " game " was made by Doctor Chap- 
lin. He had been "settled" for life, and, according to con- 
gregational usage, had the right to say who should occupy 
his pulpit. The committee, however, took the ground that 
in consequence of his extreme age, and inability to take per- 
sonal charge of the pulpit, this right was vacated, and ought 
to be relinquished. Accordingly, when their pastor had of- 
fered to supply the pulpit at his own expense until a man 



154 JOHN TODD. 

could be found in whom all could unite, they had promptly- 
rejected his proposition, and continued to exercise the right 
to take care of the pulpit, which they had taken from him. 
" They brought Rev. Mr. Robinson there, formerly settled at 
Eastport, Maine, a pretty heavy man as to talents. Before he 
went into the pulpit. Doctor Chaplin wrote a note to him and 
to the committee, saying that if he went into the pulpit it 
would be against the Avishes of the church, the majority of 
the people, and himself This was a spirited remonstrance, 
but it produced no effect. Doctor Chaplin then called a 
meeting of his church, to ask their advice. They voted, (1.) 
That they thought Doctor Chaplin had a right to supply 
the pulpit himself; (2.) That they wished he would do so ; (3.) 
That he employ Mr. Todd ; and (4.) That no member should 
thereafter be admitted from another church without first 
explicitly assenting to their articles of belief They next 
had a caucus of the orthodox present — just one hundred, 
and all very respectable men. They voted, (1.) That they 
thought Doctor Chaplin had a right to supply the pulpit ; 
(2.) That they wished him to assert the right; and (3.) That 
Mr. Todd be the man. These were all legal voters. A com- 
mittee waited on Doctor Chaplin with these resolutions, and 
he promised to comply." Accordingly, he undertook to fur- 
nish a supply for the following Sabbath, and a letter was sent 
to Mr. Todd, requesting him to send a suitable preacher. 
Meantime, the committee vowed that no man but theirs 
should enter the pulpit. 

"January 28th. 
"A few days since, I received a letter from Chaplin which 
troubled me considerably, for I did not know what the Gro- 
tonians were coming to. I called on Doctor Porter, and had 
a long talk with him, and slept but little that night. On 
Wednesday a man was seen riding between Andover and 
Dunstable. He was astride a poor crazy sort of animal, but 
which shambled over the ground at a great rate. The rider 
was a curious-looking object. He was a strong, resolute- 
looking fellow ; a light plaid cloak was wrapped around him, 
with its collar tied close around his face, so as to conceal it. 
A large, black seal-skin cap was drawn over his head, saving 
his eyes, so that you could see scarcely any of his face. His 
arms, thrust through the arm-holes of his cloak, guided and 



I 



LIFE AT AXDOVER. I55 

encouraged his steed. All stared wildly at him, for he was 
either very much afraid of the cold, or else he wished not 
to be known. People stared, the dogs barked, the children 
whooped, the rider passed on in high spirits. But who was 
this rider? I presume you have guessed. It was my design 
to stop at Dunstable till evening, then push on to Groton, 
see my friend Chaplin, and back again to Dunstable before 
morning, and thus learn the state of things in Groton with- 
out having it known that I had been there. I had Howe's 
cloak and a borrowed cap, and no mortal could ever have 
mistrusted who it was. Just as I arrived at Dunstable, I 
met Chaplin coming over to see me. He did not know me. 
He went back to Dunstable till dark. I then left my horse, 
got into his chaise, and rode to Groton, got there about ten 
o'clock, sat up and talked till four; then he took his chaise 
and brought me to Dunstable, where we arrived before sun- 
rise, and I got back to Andover by noon, without having 
half a dozen know where I had been." At this secret in- 
terview, it was agreed that he should send over a suitable 
preacher from Andover to contend with Mr. Robinson for 
the possession of the pulpit on the following Sabbath. 

On laying the matter before Professors Porter and Woods, 
however, he found that they entirely disapproved of the 
plan, and on maturer reflection his own judgment condemn- 
ed it. Accordingly, he wrote to his friend Chaplin imme- 
diately, giving as the professors' advice and his own, that 
Doctor Chaplin should not attempt to supply the pulpit on 
the following Sabbath, and that he should never attempt to 
take or send a man into the pulpit until the committee had 
first yielded ; " that is, by no means to have the clashing in 
the house of God. This, of all things, they would deprecate. 
They think it would do immense injury." He further ad- 
vised that Doctor Chaplin "immediately address a note to 
the committee, and another to Mr. Robinson, saying that it 
is the wish of his church, and of a large number, and, as he 
believes, a very decided majority of the legal voters, that he 
should supply the pulpit himself, as he undoubtedly has a 
legal and customary right to do; that he could not conven- 
iently obtain the supply for the coming Sabbath, but that he 
wishes to supply the Sabbath after next, and to continue to 
do so for the present ; that he has understood, to his great 



156 JOHN TODD. 

surprise, that the committee think of refusing him this 
right; and what surprised and grieved him still more was, 
that they talked of doing this on God's holy day ; that it is 
unbecoming his character, his years, his feelings, and, above 
all, his sacred office, to resist, or to attempt, or to expect, 
any violent or unchristian measures; that he distinctly dis- 
avows any intention to go into his own pulpit, even at the 
request of a majority of his beloved flock, unless the com- 
mittee will peaceably w^ithdraw their preacher, and permit 
him to go forward unmolested, etc. This must bring the 
committee to a point. Unless they are absolutely mad, and 
given over to madness, they will not refuse your father the 
pulpit. If they do, then proper steps can be taken. It is 
vastly better to have the quarrel in a town meeting than 
to go to law about the pulpit At any rate, you must not 
have the quarrel in the meeting-house on the Sabbath. It 
would be awful to try the question in the meeting-house on 
Sabbath morning. Their party are expecting a quarrel next 
Sabbath, but they must be disappointed." 

The letter containing this wise advice to temperate meas- 
ures was dispatched by express, and arrived on Friday. 
But proceedings had gone so far that it was thought impos- 
sible to retract. "So they got Fisher, from Harvard, to go 
to supply; but when he arrived he found the Unitarian 
committee had appointed constables to keep him out of the 
pulpit. His heart failed him, and he dared not go into the 
meeting-house." 

After this defeat there was nothing for the orthodox party 
to do but wait for the annual town meeting. Meantime 
there was a short lull in the storm, while both parties gath- 
ered their strength and secretly prepared for a decisive con- 
test. 

" January 28th. 

'* Chaplin has come up from Boston, in haste, for me to go 
down immediately, and attend a council of consultation re- 
specting Groton." 

"January 29th, Sabbath Evening. 

" Our meeting was held at Squire Samuel Hubbard's 
house. The following gentlemen composed our meeting, 
viz., President Humphrey, Rev. S. E. D wight. Rev. B. B. 
Wisner, Rev. Samuel Greene, Rev. W. Fay, Samuel Hub- 



LIFE AT AND OVER. I57 

bard, Esq., Doctor J. P. Chaplin, Deacon Procter, Deacon 
Bumstead, H. Holmes, etc., T\"illiani L. Chaplin, and J. Todd. 
The meeting was held over four hours. The situation of 
Groton was stated. The whole story was told. Much dis- 
cussion followed, and very much sound wisdom was shown. 
The following seemed to be some of the points on which 
they were all agreed : (l.) Groton is one of the most impor- 
tant stands in our country for a minister to do good. (2.) 
That they are playing for life ; that is, which party soever 
gets beaten is dead. It can have no hope of living and 
forming a separate society. They have not principle 
enough to do it on our party, and not zeal enough on the 
other. The question, then, before the town is an awful ques- 
tion. (3.) The subject of the church was discussed. (4.) 
The subject of their choosing their civil officers in March 
was next discussed. (0.) How shall the orthodox sustain 
their party, increase it, and depress the other, between this 
time and the March meeting? After much discussion, it was 
unanimously agreed, no one dissenting but myself, that Mr. 
Todd was the man who got them into all this difficulty, and 
he must help them out, and he only can do it ; that it was 
vastly important that I go to Groton by some means or 
other, to go to work among them, and that, too, if possible, 
immediately. I know not what will be the result of this. 
I do not want to go to Groton under these circumstances. 
If I go, I sacrifice my time, and much more. I should go as 
an assistant to Dr. Chaplin, should have to assert his right 
to the pulpit, probably be kept out by constables, and should 
draw upon me the direct enmity of every Unitarian in 
Groton or in the State. If I go there, of course it will be 
my aim, by bold and yet prudent measures, to carry my 
party through the struggle. If my conscience will possibly 
let me off, I will never go there again, or have any thing to 
do with them. But what can I, what ought I to do? I 
have got the town into this situation; how much ought 
I to sacrifice to help them out? A few days since, I had 
an application to go to Henniker, Xew Hampshire, for six 
weeks. They offered to defray all my expenses and give me 
sixty dollars for six Sabbaths. As this was an uncommonly 
good offer, I felt disposed to go. But on proposing it to the 
committee, they refused to permit me to leave the seminary. 



158 JOHN TODD. 

So you see I am still ' under tutors and governors.' I did 
not grieve, for I confidently believe God will order all things 
as shall be most for his own glory, and for what is best for 
me. By the Groton afifair I have doubtless drawn upon me 
the sympathies of many a pious heart, and I trust God wall 
open a proper door for me. Let me trust in him." 

To William L. Chaplin. 

" January 30th. 
''I find that I can not come to Groton, and stay any time, 
without forfeiting my scholarship. I do not icant to go to 
Groton. If I might consult my own personal feelings, I 
never would go into the town again, unless it be on a short 
visit. As the town is, with the prospects now before it, I 
have no wish to think of becoming its minister. My going 
to Groton would be a hazardous game; it might, and it 
might not, result in being beneficial to your party. It would 
warm all the decided friends and foes. How it would aifect 
those who are wavering or indifierent, can be determined 
only by actual experiment. But I love you, love your 
people some, and hope I love the cause of truth more. If, 
then, it seems absolutely necessary for me to come, I will 
sacrifice scholarship, popularity, etc., and imll come and help 
you. Still, if you can get along, and conquer in your March 
meeting without my being seen there, I think it will be bet- 
ter; that is, I will not come unless public feeling loudly de- 
mands it. In your caucus, please to handle that committee 
without gloves. Oh that I could have an opportunity to 
stand beside you and spout also ! We would shave them ! 
Dwell upon the liberality of ' tl)e liberal party.' Shut an old 
man out of his pulpit ! appoint constables ! their system to 
be protected by constables ! their courage, too ! (they dare 
not let an orthodox preacher go into the pulpit a single 
Sabbath for fear he would upset their dish !) their economy 
and regard for the town ! Doctor Chaplin offers to supply 
the pulpit at his own expense till they find a man in whom 
the church and town can be united, and they will not, dare 
not, do it. There certainly was never a more elegant occa- 
sion to make a speech that will ' split the ears of the ground- 
lings,' make their eyes sparkle, and increase your own powers 
of talking. Be of good cheer, thou champion of orthodoxy. 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 159 

thou idol of the commons, thou star of truth, thou terror of 
evil-doers, thou ujjholder of parsons, thou presser of narrow 
beds, thou destroyer of the aliens ! Be of good cheer and 
good courage ! Oh, how I want to see thee ! My sides 
fairly yearn to laugh with thee ! Doctor Murdock can 
laugh some, but he is no more to be compared to thee than 
is a w^ren to an owl : the one only twitters, but the other 
whoops — like a gentleman. Forgive my trilling, for it may 
be wn-ong ; but I am lonely, and am thinking how I would 
laugh, if I could only see you." 

" February llth. 
" Last week, on Friday, I wrote a long letter to the church 
in Groton. This letter was predicated on the call I received 
from them, though, of course, it contained no direct answer 
to their call. I intended to have it a plain, manly, bold ad- 
dress to the church. My only fear is that it is too smart, 
and w^ill cut tlie Unitarians too deep ; but I wish them dis- 
tinctly to understand that I can, and shall, have no fellow- 
ship with Unitarianism. I learn that my preaching at Gro- 
ton was the means, as is hoped, of converting some four or 
five individuals; that Robinson does not take — does not 
have over two hundred hearers ; that my friends are anxious 
to have me come there, but are willing to follow my advice ; 
that they are bending all their efforts to the town meeting 
in March. It is a contest of parties ; but I believe there is 
conscience at the bottom of it, though, doubtless, much that 
is unholy is mingled w^ith good motives. Do I think the 
orthodox party will carry the day? Xo, not at present. 
They have too much mind working against them, and mind, 
in almost any struggle, will carry the day. I most sincerely 
wish the contest were ended on one side or the other, but 
God's time is the best." 

To William L. Chaplin. 

"January 30th. 
" Yesterday I preached before the seminary — one of our 
Groton sermons. It made the natives stare, especially as 
they knew it was such food as you had to digest. Doctor 
Porter said I went at you with a broad-axe, but he was evi- 
dently pleased w^ith it. I told him it was my manner to let 
it off at you 'bush fashion.' He is now laying a plan to get 



160 JOHN TODD. 

me into a neighboring pulpit the next Sabbath, in hopes 
that I can strike hard enough to split them. You see what 
a tool they make of me. I think you and I will soon be 
able to hire out to great advantage to split societies. How 
much shall we have the conscience to ask? Shall we go by 
the day, or by the job ?" 

"February 25th. 

"At ISTewburyport I took the prevailing influenza, and 
have been sick ever since : till to-day I have hardly left my 
bed. For several days I was veiy sick, had a physician 
twice a day, watchers at night, and was some of the time 
much out of my head. A pretty severe medical course, with 
the best of nursing, has set things in the right way again. 
I am now well, only weak. Howe comes to my room daily, 
and we read Greek together. He has no plans for the fut- 
ure; wants to get a good settlement in New England. If 
no opening seems to invite me before next fall — and I have 
no reason to think there will — I shall take ordination, and 
away for the West or South. I will try to make one push, 
ere I consent to die a theological death in the chimney-cor- 
ner. I am to preach in Portsmouth. They send me into 
every hornets' nest in the wiiole region. 

" Last Saturday I went to Boston, and preached three 
times the next day — once at the Old South, Mr. Wisner's, 
and twice in the new church in Hanover Street, to which 
Doctor Beecher is called. This is the most beautiful house 
that I ever saw. I had the honor of preaching in it the first 
Sabbath, to an audience by far the largest I ever addressed. 
The crowd was so great that constables had to be stationed 
at the doors, and probably more went away who could not 
get in than the audience. I could not get to the pulpit, ex- 
cept by the constables' aid. My audience were very atten- 
tive, and I probably never acquired so much applause in any 
one day in my life. Anderson sat with me in the pulpit, 
but took no part. They gave me the usual price, ten dol- 
lars, for my day's work. Tlie honor of going first into the 
house to preach is considered very great. 

" You know I went to Newburyport, a ie\Y Sabbaths 
since, to preach. In the last Newburyport Herald I notice 
an article, saying that the Rev. Mr. Ford, the minister of 
the society, is soon to be dismissed, and that the Rev. Doc- 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 161 

tor Dana, of Londonderry, and the Rev. Mr. Todd, of Ando- 
ver, are candidates to succeed him. The ofler will, of course, 
first go to Doctor Dana, and he will jump at the chance. 
However, he is a great and good man, and it is no small 
honor to have my name stand with his. As to Groton, I 
really do not know what to do. I can not get at them to 
do them any good, and the professors and good people of 
this region would not allow me to be a candidate in any 
other place in the world while the question is pending. 

" I have my hands full of sermons, lectures, notes, and ex- 
egeses, belonging to the professors. They put them into 
my hands, and request me to read them, make notes on 
them, etc. I have just returned Doctor Woods nine ser- 
mons on one text, with two sheets crowded with criticisms. 
He sent me five new lectures, which he wants I should ex- 
amine. The professors seem to forget that while they thus 
honor my talents they consume my time, and make me pass 
through much genuine drudgery." 

"March 12th, Sabbath Morning. 

"I have been w^eeping, not for myself, but for my poor 
Groton friends. They have tried their strength and are 
completely put down — so I have heard. What will be the 
result, and what Providence designs for them, is more than 
I know. I have now no hope that they will ever succeed. 
Perhaps they may withdraw, and build a house, but I know 
not." 

"May 24th. 

"Chaplin came over last week, feeling bad enough. It 
would have made your heart ache to see him. In the town 
meeting, while electing officers, the Unitarians had one hun- 
dred and fifty -eight votes, and the orthodox one hundred 
and forty-one— a majority of seventeen. When they came 
to the ministerial question (which was, whether they would 
continue the present committee in office six months longer), 
the orthodox said, 'JSTo; let Doctor Chaplin supply the pul- 
pit, for he will do it without any expense to the town.' The 
Unitarians, seeing that they should lose the day, then moved 
that the present committee be continued in office six months 
longer, on condition that the preaching shall be no expense 
to the town.' On trying this motion, the Unitarians had 
one hundred and fifty-six and the orthodox one hundred and 

11 



162 JOHN TODD. 

forty-three — a majority of fifteen. So my poor friends were 
beaten. Chaplin comes over to inquire what shall be done. 
The professors advise that the orthodox set up a separate 
meeting, and that Mr. Todd go and preach down Unitarian- 
ism — say, a campaign of six months to begin with. This 
seemed to cheer Chaplin greatly, and he went home rejoicing, 
though I gave him no encouragement that I would go. This 
week, on Wednesday, there was a council held in Boston on 
the subject of Groton — consisting of Doctor Beecher, Doctor 
Woods, Doctor Humphrey, Doctor Payson, Mr. Fay, Mr. 
Wisner, S. Hubbard, Esq., Doctor Chaplin, Mr. Cornelius, 
Deacon Proctor, Deacon Bumstead, and Henry Holmes, Esq. 
They passed the following resolutions : that, in their opinion, 
it is expedient for the orthodox in Groton to have separate 
worship; that, in order to hold a check upon the fund, the 
church hold its stated communion as usual, in the old meet- 
ing-house ; that Mr. Todd is the man to go to Groton. My 
every feeling, my very soul shudders {Jiorresco refereois).^ while 
I think of going there. Now, what ought I to do ? If I 
don't go, I go contrary to the wishes of half the ministers in 
the State ; though, at the same time, I know they are think- 
ing only of the good of Groton, and think nothing of my 
good or wishes. Doctor Woods told them in Boston, ' Our 
Mr. Todd is a genuine hero. He stands and looks at the 
field of battle, dreads to enter it, but if we once get him 
there, he will fight most powerfully. There is no shrink to 
him.' " 

In accordance with the recommendation of the council in 
Boston, the friends of Mr. Todd held a meeting, in fine spirits, 
and voted to have preaching forthwith. They appointed a 
committee to apply for the use of the large hall in the acad- 
emy, another to fit it up, and a third to invite Mr. Todd " to 
come and reside among them, and perform ministerial labor 
for the present." Alarmed at the prospect of Mr. Todd's 
return, the Unitarians offered to raise a large committee, 
half from each party, to settle matters. " The orthodox say, 
'No; we won't be duped any longer. No hurry, no hurrj^; 
let us have Mr. Todd here a while, and hear a little of the 
old-fashioned preaching; and then, when we get cool, there 
will be time enough to talk about compromising.'" The 
committee appointed to invite Mr. Todd performed their 



LIFE AT AND OVER. 163 

duty promptly and becomingly. " We are aware that one 
who can command almost any situation he may choose re- 
quires no common degree of self-denial to expose himself to 
the trials that must inevitably await him in circumstances 
like ours. Whether the present is an emergence that de- 
mands this great personal sacrifice on your part, we must 
submit to your sober reflection. Though this situation may 
not promise all the enjoyment that one could wish, yet we 
believe that the strong hold you have upon the best feelings 
of this people would give you a vast advantage over any 
other man for extensive and lasting influence." This ofiicial 
invitation was backed by all sorts of personal appeals. " You 
have doubtless learned," wrote Doctor Chaplin, of Cam- 
bridgeport, " the opinion of the meeting in Boston ; and I 
w411 add that it is the concurrent opinion of all with whom 
I have conversed. They are decided not only as to the 
main question, but that you are the man. I believe you will 
find yourself more pleasantly situated far than in your late 
residence there. Your friends have been sorely tried, stand 
firm, and improve daily by friction. You are expected, by 
friends and foes, to be there by the first Sabbath in April, 
in your own proper person, large as life. Be discreet, j^a- 
tient, firm, unwearied in prayer, and the great Captain of 
our salvation will conduct you and his friends to a glorious 
result." 

Under the circumstances, Mr. Todd felt that there was 
but one course for him to pursue. Yet even in his public 
acceptance of the invitation he could not help manifesting 
his reluctance. " Permit me to say, I have acted more fi'om 
a scrupulous regard to what, on the whole, seems to be duty^ 
than from regard to my own feelings. You are so good as 
to say, in your communication, that in accepting your invi- 
tation I must make personal sacrifices; and I assure you that 
what you thus generously intimate I can not but deeply feel. 
My circumstances are such, that many reasons, to my own 
mind strong and powerful, have caused me greatly to hesi- 
tate as to its being my duty to accept your invitation ; and 
these reasons will forbid my committing myself by any 
pledge that will prevent my leaving you whenever I shall 
deem it my duty so to do. But though I have hinted at 
painful doubts and feelings while making up my mind to 



164 JOHN TODD. 

come to Groton, yet you will not thence infer that, after con- 
cluding that it is my duty to come, I shall come with any 
want of cheerfulness. No, gentlemen ; the indications of di- 
vine providence seem to be such as to promise many spiritual 
mercies to you and to your children. I trust the hand of 
God is directing you. You will wish me to come, of course, 
not as a partisan, but simply in the character of a preacher 
of the Gospel, considering it my duty to preach this as plain- 
ly and faithfully as is in my power, making the Holy Bible, 
and nothing else, my standard of opinions and practice. * To 
the law and to the testimony ;' if I speak not according to 
these, 'it is because there is no light' in me." 

To his personal friends he expressed himself yet more 
strongly: "You see that I must go to Groton. I never 
dreaded any thing as I do this. I had much rather go to 
India or Palestine ; and could do it with less sacrifice of feel- 
ing and comfort. I have tried every possible way to get 
rid of the whole affair, but can not. I am expecting my 
friend Chaplin every moment to carry me to Groton." 

It was a painful hour which he passed in waiting to be 
carried away from the quiet scenes and studies in which he 
had spent more than three of the happiest years of his life, 
into the struggles and turmoils of the world ; and it was 
with many regrets that he took leave of dear friends, and 
threw a last glance around him upon familiar and loved ob- 
jects ; but the long period of preparation was over, and the 
time for active work had come. The bugle-call of duty had 
sounded, and it remained to be seen whether the battle that 
had been lost in caucuses and town meetings and elections, 
and when fought with " carnal weapons," could in any meas- 
ure be redeemed by a single brave soldier of the cross, cov- 
ered w^ith "the shield of faith," and armed wuth "the sword 
of the Spirit, which is — the Word of God." 



t 







THE OLD SANCTUARY. 

First Congregational [Unitarian] Church, Groton, Massachusetts. 



LIFE AT GMOTOX 165 



CHAPTER XII. 

LIFE AT GEOTON. 

Preaching in the Academy.— Rum in the Meeting-house.— Invitation to 
Portland.— A Bible-class.— Hell the same as Eternity.— A Staire-ride.— 
A young Lady's Desk.- Which is the Church?— Corner-stone laid and 
thrown down.— A Council.— Beecher on Rights of Churches.— The new 
Gown.— Invitation to Danvers.— The poor Bee.— The Raising.— A Scene 
at the Church-door.— An Installation Ball.— A Revival.— Conduct of the 
Inquiry-meeting.— A Remonstrance.— Organization of a new Church.— 
A Trap. — The Linchpins.- Call from the tJnion Church.— The Answer.— 
Changes. 

" Groton, April 10th, 1826. 
" I CAME here on Saturday (April 1st), nearly sick. On the 
next day I went to meeting ; house crowded to overflowing. 
They were all smiling for joy to see me, and I sat down and 
Avept like a child. You too would have wept, could you have 
seen my poor persecuted flock. They had been trod on all 
winter, had heard no preaching, and were hungering for the 
bread of life. Xever did I see an audience so eager to hear, 
never once saw people sit in such breathless silence. Yerily, 
I feel as if God was present every time I meet them. I have 
been here eight days, and have preached six sermons (two 
on Fast-day). My audience is three, if not four, times as 
large as the Unitarian audience. They have the great meet- 
ing-house, and I the academy ; they are so scattered that 
they can hardly know each other, and we so crowded that 
many of our poor women faint away during service. Does 
it not seem strange to you that I could have an audience of 
eight or ten to their one, had we accommodations, and yet 
they constantly carry the town by vote? The reason is, 
that the great men sway the town by influences which no 
conscientious Christian could ever use. At the town meet- 
ing last month they had their stores open, and all supplied 
with drink gratis, and cake and cheese gratis, and they even 
carried rum by the pailful into the meeting-hoiise^m order to 
influence unprincipled men to vote against evangelical re- 
ligion ! Xever did I see Uuitarianism exhibited on so grand 



166 JOHN- TODD. 

or so dreadful a scale as at present in this place. But I have 
good courage, for I believe that God is on our side. I sup- 
pose I shall spend the summer here." 

" May 17tli. 

" Soon after receiving your last, I received a letter from 
the committee of Doctor Payson's society, Portland, inviting 
me to come there for a few months, stating that Doctor Pay- 
son was sick, and probably would not be able ever to preach 
for them again. I wanted to go. No place in the United 
States could have been offered more congenial to my feel- 
ings ; I may never have so good an offer. On the other hand, 
I had begun a great battle here, and if I left them now, I was 
afraid they would never move again. I wrote to Portland 
that I would consider the subject a week. I called the com- 
mittee here together, and stated my circumstances, that if I 
did not go, it was making a sacrifice very great. They de- 
liberated, and decided unanimously that if I left it would be 
impossible for them ever to keep the society together, etc. 
After much anxious deliberation in my own mind, for I had 
no one to consult, I concluded that I must not leave this 
post for the present. Was not this some self-denial ? Since 
I wrote to Portland I have been quite easy. I considered 
that God had marked out my path for the present, and so 
I was contented. Last Sabbath I organized a Bible-class 
among my young people, wholly a new thing in this region. 
Upward of fifty joined it. My orthodox friends have about 
concluded to go to work immediately and build a new meet- 
ing-house. You can not imagine how interested the people 
are about the new house. Many a poor girl offers to give 
half she is worth for the object. 

" I lately attended the funeral of a child, and in the course 
of my remarks I said to the parents they must soon follow 
their child into eternit}^ One of the Unitarians spread the 
report that I said the child had gone to hell, and the parents 
must soon follow it. On being called to account by some 
of my friends, he said he always supposed eternity and hell 
meant the same thing ! In one of my public prayers I lately 
quoted the first twelve verses of the 139th Psalm. The Uni- 
tarians caught the eighth verse (' If I make my bed in hell, 
behold, thou art there'), and the report over town is now 
current that I sent God to hell ; and they have no idea that 



LIFE A T GROTON. 167 

it was quoted from the Bible. Xot a neighboring minister 
dares come near me, lest his people raise a dust. My every 
movement is watched, and I need much heavenly wisdom to 
guide me." 

Early in June he went to Xew Haveri, " for the purpose of 
procuring an instructor for Groton Academy," and of course 
availed himself of the opportunity to visit Xewino-ton. 

To William L. Chaplin. 

" Xewlngton, June loth. 
"Heft Boston at one o'clock for 'the Land of Steady Hab- 
its.' I had a bad crew — two ladies, one crazy man, and 
three rogues and drunkards. They quarreled, drew shears, 
broke watches, and so on, till I had to put in a voice, called 
them to order, made the driver expel one, and leave him by 
the wayside. At last, after riding all night in a cloud of 
dust, yesterday morning I arrived in Hartford not a little 
fatigued. Imagine me now bending over this same ' young 
lady's desk,' with ink, and knives, and folders, and divei^s 
other like implements before me, seated in an arm-chair, 
dressed in frock-coat, crape pantaloons, white stoekinors, thin 
slippers, cravat all awry, glasses off, and now dipping my 
quill to write to you, and now turning my eye off over the 
left shoulder to gaze upon a beautiful young lady. And 
when you have imagined this, imagine too how my thoughts 
so soon stray off to Groton with great anxiety, and then tell 
me if I do not feel too much interested for you and yours. 
I think that I must return as soon as I can, and the more 
I think of it, the more I dread it. I do dread commencing 
life under such circumstances; a man of ardent tempera- 
ment, and yet narrowly watched ; a man generous in dis- 
position, and yet his shoulders broken by blows laid on by 
poverty's club; a man whose soul rejoiceth in reiined and 
elegant society, and yet shut out from it; a man ambitious 
as a war-horse, and yet tied up to go the rounds of a bark- 
mill ; a man despising ignorance, and yet with only books 
which might be put into a watch-pocket ; a man abhorring 
any thing that is tame, and yet placed amidst a body of 
clergy so tame that they need a ladder to go to bed by. 
Should this letter be peeped into before it reaches you, it may 
be well just to say that there is more than mere conjecture 



168 JOHN TODD. 

to excite the suspicion, that this is neither the first time 
they have done such a thing, nor the worst thing they ever 
did." 

At New Haven he was offered the editorship of the N'ew 
York Observer, with a salary of one thousand dollars ; but 
he returned to Groton. 

A majority of the church, having withdrawn from the 
worship in the " Old Sanctuary," as it was called, claimed to 
be the church, on the ground that it is the organization, and 
not the place of meeting, that constitutes a company of 
believers a church. Their claim was strengthened by the 
fact that they continued to hold the pastor and the records. 
But they voted to suspend the celebration of the commun- 
ion for a time, lest by celebrating it elsewhere than in the 
meeting-house they should seem to abandon the claim to be 
the church, and so forfeit their interest in the parish /w^i^ 
of upward of sixteen thousand dollars. On the other side, 
the minority also claimed to be the church, on the ground 
that the part of a church which adheres to the home and 
maintains the relations of the church to the parish is the 
church, even if it is the smaller part ; and the departure of 
any number of members is merely a secession. The smaller 
part of the church proceeded, therefore, to celebrate the 
communion in their old place of worship at the usual sea- 
son. A dignified and earnest remonstrance, addressed by 
the aged pastor to one of the officers who remained with 
the minority, was ineffectual, and a committee sent by the 
majority to demand the communion- plate was peremptorily 
refused. At this point the seceding church, finding itself in 
peculiar trials and difficulties, determined to call a council 
of pastors and delegates from neighboring churches, and 
ask advice and sympathy. The time was fixed for the 17th 
of July. 

Meantime, on the afternoon of the 4th, the corner-stone of 
the new church edifice was laid. "The occasion was ex- 
ceedingly interesting. My address was listened to with in- 
tense interest by friends and foes. The stone was hurled off 
out of its place by wicked hands the night but one after it 
was laid ; but is it any wonder that they who cut away the 
great Corner-stone in open day, should overturn the corner- 
stone to his temple in the darkness of midnight?" 



LIFE AT GE0T02^. 169 

*' July loth. 
"The council meet here day after to-morrow. I have 
spent most of this week in preparing a memorial of this 
church to read before them. It was no small labor to make 
it out. It occupies ten full sheets of closely written paper. 
It is a history of events here for the last eighteen months, 
and closes with the points on which the church needs advice. 
Though I wrote it, and expect to read it before the council, 
yet I intend it shall go in the name of the committee of the 
church, I acting only as a kind of lawyer." 

"July 19th. 

" The council all came on Monday, and the very moment 
that the hour arrived, I called them to order. They took 
hold like men. I read our memorial, of something like two 
hours in length, before them, and then the business was in 
their hands. They sat till ten o'clock in the evening, ad- 
journed till half-past seven yesterday morning, and sat till 
three in the afternoon, when they adjourned to the 22d of 
August. In all their measures they went just as I could 
wish, and Doctor Beecher really outdid himself. They ap- 
proved and commended all the steps and measures which 
we have as yet taken, and gave brief advice as to our future 
course. They appointed a committee to make out a full 
written report, to be presented at the adjourned meeting 
next month. From this I expect much. I am expecting it 
will be a heavy state paper." 

These expectations were not disappointed. The result of 
this council, which did not make its appearance till late in 
the year, was from the pen of Doctor Beecher, and was an 
able treatise upon the rights of churches, which had recently 
been infringed upon by legal decisions. It attracted great 
attention, but did not particularly affect the Groton case. 
" It is more a state paper than an ecclesiastical, but strong 
as iron. He takes hold of the laws of this State and tears 
them all to yjieces, laying bare the foundations of right and 
wrong, which Unitarian legislators and judges have buried 
up in their trappings. In his words, ' they have killed the 
Church, and buried her, and placed the law as a sentinel over 
her grave, lest she should ever rise.' " 

" If we follow their advice, we have now to commence a 
severe course of discipline (even to excommunication) with 



ITO JOHX TODD. 

all the Unitarians in the church. Oh, how my heart sinks 
under the thought ! It will set the whole town in an up- 
roar, and all the blame and cursing will fall on my head, as 
they do already. I have to bear the blame of calling the 
council, and of every measure which is now taken, whether 
offensive or defensive. On our present situation I have only 
to remark, (1.) That this quarrel is growing more and more 
awful, and is extending wider and wider. Still, the pros- 
pect of having great good come out of it never was so fair 
as at present. (2.) I can not, and icill not, stay here much 
longer. I can not live through it. Such constant anxiety 
weighs too heavily upon my health, and I certainly shall 
sink under it. I do not now feel as if I could live here 
six months longer." 

The upper room in the academy being altogether too 
small for the congregation that crowded into it, and insuf- 
ferably hot at midsummer, the ladies presented him with a 
silk vest and gown to preach in, which he wore for a long 
time. A few days later, he " received an invitation from the 
committee of Dan vers to go there to preach as a candidate, 
their minister being dead. It is twelve miles from Boston, 
a central situation, a large church and society, rich, very in- 
telligent, one of the most desirable stands, with almost any 
salary. I did want to go exceedingly. I met our commit- 
tee, and told them my situation. They were instantly up in 
arms, and said that they had thrown out encouragement 
that I would stay to get the meeting-house agoing ; that it 
all depended upon me ; and that it would be impossible to 
hold the society together, and build the, house, if I left ; in 
short, it would ruin them. I could do no more nor less 
than to write to Danvers that I could not leave. The dis- 
cipline of the church goes on very well; it is horribly dis- 
agreeable business, but they take hold of it like men and 
like Christians. It is the most trying situation in which I 
was ever placed; but I look to Jesus Christ for help. In 
the warfare here, I begin to feel that it is my daily business 
to meet with trials and reproaches, and I go cheerfully on- 
ward, and let them come. I am cursed openly and secretly, 
on the house-tops and in the streets; have received most 
severe letters from the first and greatest men here : but they 
have the wronsf man to scare. I ougrht not to murmur at 



LIFE AT GROT OK 171 

Providence for placing me here in these trying circumstances, 
but it seems too much for me to endure. I am like a poor 
bee that sees a sweet flower, on which he would light and 
be happy, but is continually driven away by the storm; 
and it is in vain that he flies, and buzzes, and hums ; he can 
not settle on the flower, but must be forced from it." 

"September 2d. 

"This has been an anxious week, but it is now nearly 
over. The weather cleared ofi" pleasant, and early on Thurs- 
day morning the deposit was made under the corner-stone of 
our new meeting-house. At eight o'clock I was called out 
to pray ; the frame being covered with eighty men selected 
to aid in raising, and spectators all around, the rigging, etc., 
all being ready. They raised timbers w^eighing at least 
three tons at a time. I greatly feared accidents and mis- 
fortunes. Our friend S , a young man of our own rais- 
ing, took the command. Before night the number of spec- 
tators was immense, say nearly two thousand. It took 
two days to raise it, and by every body is pronounced the 
best frame they ever saw. It looks magnificently beauti- 
ful, and will probably be one of the best meeting-houses in 
the State. I am greatly relieved to have it over, and yet 
no life or limb lost. Not a man got in the least intoxicated, 
and not one used profane language during the whole. It 
makes the Unitarians awfully cross, and their bitterness 
flows out in great abundance." 

The town having called the Rev. Charles Robinson " to 
become their religious teacher," the concurrence of the 
church was necessary, according to congregational usage ; 
the pastor, therefore, caused to be affixed to the door of the 
meeting-house a call for a meeting of the church on Thurs- 
day, August 31st. "In the morning he sent a note to the 
chairman of the selectmen, requesting him to direct the 
meeting-house to be opened, which he presumed he would 
willingly do, as he had given him distinctly to understand 
that his ' personal presence at all times was not objected to, 
but cordially desired.' The gentleman wrote back, as I ex- 
pected, a most scurrilous letter. But I was determined to 
try the courage of our troops. So at three o'clock you could 
have seen an interesting sight. An old minister, eighty- 
three years old, shut out of his meeting-house, standing on 



172 JOHN TODD. 

the door-steps in front, with his church gathered around 
liiin ; I standing at his left ; and a little way off, a space 
being between, selectmen and lawyers, drunkards and 
judges, looking on. The old man took off his hat; we all 
took off ours ; the sun beat dreadfully hot ; he addressed 
his church tenderly, and prayed. He then made another 
address, and the votes for Mr. Robinson were called for. 
Twenty were present; all voted, and all voted in the nega- 
tive, i. €., not to give Mr. Robinson a call. A committee 
were appointed to remonstrate with the town, and with the 
council that should assemble to install Mr. Robinson. The 
discipline of members was then brought forward, their ac- 
cusation read, and Jive were excommunicated by a unani- 
mous vote." Two had been previously cut off, and two 
more were cut off afterward — nine in all — being the whole 
of what claimed to be Mr. Robinson's church. "It was the 
most interesting meeting I ever attended. I can conceive 
of few scenes more interesting to the painter than the one I 
have been detailing. 

"We have established a weekly prayer-meeting in the 
church, which I think will do good. Our Bible -class in- 
creases ; we have had one meeting in the evening, which is 
a new thing in this town, and which makes a great buzz, 
for which I care not a farthing. Mr. Robinson will be in- 
stalled soon. He is to marry a rich, simple, gay, and bitter 
girl in this place. He is as bitter against revivals and ex- 
perimental religion as is possible for the greatest infidel to 
be. They are calculating to make a great installation ball, 
and he is expected to attend with his lady, perhaps be one 
of the managers !" 

"October 5th. 

"The Sabbath before last I noticed an unusual solemnity 
on the faces of my people. I did not know why, but I could 
hardly keep from weeping all day. At the close of worship 
I observed that in all congregations where the Gospel is 
faithfully preached there are usually some who feel interest- 
ed in religion. There might be some such in this audience. 
If there were, they were invited to call the next evening at 
the house of Doctor Chaplin for free religious conversation. 
They stared, for it was the first meeting for inquiry ever 
held in this town. I was a little fearful how it would take, 



LIFE AT GROTOK 1^3 

and did not expect that more than some four or five would 
come. The evening arrived; I went into the room, and 
found eighteen "present. Some of them were under deep 
conviction. None were professors; all were more or less 
anxious. The next week I appointed another inquiry-meet- 
ing, and at the same time invited those of the church who 
wished for the salvation of men to assemble in the opposite 
room for prayer. They did so. The church meeting was 
full. They were warmed, animated, and often very tender. 
In the room opposite I found twenty-six inquirers, and every 
one in tears. Their convictions of sin seem deep and power- 
ful; they are still; there is no noise, l^o less than fourteen 
are beginning to indulge a hope that they have been born 
again. They are, however, very timid, as they should be. 
So far, every part of the work seems genuine and wrought by 
God. Religion and a revival are all I think of or talk of; 
but I am all alone, and my anxieties and duties are im- 
mense." 

To Rev, J, Brace, 

" October 23d. 
"I have now about forty on my inquiry-list; of these 
about twenty -five are hoping that they have been born 
again. I am at a sad stand, not knowing how to manage 
an inquiry-meeting. T have it in the evening in a private 
room, and the church kneeling in prayer in the opposite 
room. I manage them thus : I go to my closet, confess my 
sins, try to feel them, go into the room, read a short portion 
in the Bible, remark briefly upon it, kneel in prayer (all 
kneeling), rise, then go round and converse in a low whisper 
with them individually, inquiring out their feelings, and 
pressing immediate repentance upon them, trying to shake 
false hopes, and sifting them, keeping them off from hoping 
as long as I can. When I have gone half round in this 
manner, I leave them silent, go into the church-meeting, tell 
them what are the appearances, try to keep them humble, 
and excite to prayer, then go back into my meeting, kneel in 
prayer, then go round to the rest, giving each attention as 
seems to be needed. I then address them aloud, as a body, 
pointing out the path of true repentance, and what real re- 
ligion is. I then close with prayer, and tell them to go 
home immediately, or else they would linger. I do not en- 



174 JOHN TODD. 

courage much weeping or passion, but solemnity, and an 
awful sense of God's presence. I encourage none to hope ; 
they will do this soon enough. Is this course judicious? is 
it best ? I am a mere babe in experience, and I tremble 
when they come to my meeting. I do not yet like the at- 
titude of the church, though they have altered most won- 
derfully wdthin a few weeks. They really begin to seem 
like other Christians. Many of them are yet complaining 
of their coldness, though I do not allow them to do it be- 
fore me, without reproving them for it. The Unitarians are 
filling up their excommunicated church with Universalists, 
swearers, etc., and even went so far as to propound a man 
and his w^ife without their knowledge. They were quite of- 
fended, and w^ould not come forward to the communion. 
Don't you think they were unreasonably obstinate ?" 

"November 2d. 

"I spent Monday in writing a remonstrance from this 
church, to be laid before the Unitarian council which met 
yesterday to install Robinson. It was nearly the length of 
a sermon, and as severe as argument could make it. I know 
not how they swallowed the cud ; but if they did not find it 
a bitter pill, I am a poor judge of human nature. That they 
got it down is certain, and it had fully as much effect as I 
expected it would have. The remonstrance took the ground, 
(1.) That a religious teacher or pastor can not be called or 
settled over this church and parish without the joint concur- 
rence of each body, expressed by a separate vote. (2.) That 
the Rev. Charles Robinson has never been invited to become 
our pastor by the joint concurrence of the first church and 
parish in Groton. The council, recognizing the body that 
remained with the parish as the church, rejected the second 
of these propositions, and, therefore, it was unnecessary to 
settle the first. The installation-day was spent by the se- 
ceded church as a day of fasting and prayer. They met at 
the house of Doctor Chaplin. There were two ministers be- 
sides myself present. The meeting was over three hours 
long, and the best meeting I ever attended in my life, de- 
cidedly so. It will do my people good." 

"November 18th. 

"For the last few days I have been much occupied in the 
steps preparatory to the organization of a new church in this 



LIFE AT GROT OX. I75 

place. I liave gone so far as to take the following steps: 
(1.) Have selected twenty-six out of the converts, half of 
each sex, for the foundation of the church. (2.) Have ex- 
amined them publicly before the members of the old church. 
(3.) Have drawn up a system of articles of faith and cove- 
nant, and had it approved by the candidates, and also by 
the old church. -(4.) Have invited an ecclesiastical council 
to convene here next week, to organize this church, if they 
think proper. The articles, covenant, etc., are as orthodox 
as pen and paper could make them. The object, as you will 
at once see, is, to begin de novo^ to let the old church stand 
as it does, to fight out the battle, and yet to have a regular 
church to go into the new meeting-house, and occupy it, 
when finished. So far every thing has worked as I could 
liave wished. It is a very delicate business to manage, and 
a slight indiscretion would upset the dish." The articles 
and covenant here referred to were successively adopted 
without change by every church over w^hich Mr. Todd was 
settled, and are to-day found in their manuals. 

"December 2d. 
"On Tuesday, November 21st, the council convened, the 
old church being present. The candidates for admission were 
brought in for examination, five at a time. The articles of 
faith and covenant had previously been read and approved 
by the council. The examination of the candidates occupied 
from nine to one o'clock. At two, the whole congregation 
assembled in the academy. The sermon, as also the admis- 
sion and baptism, Avas by Rev. Doctor Church, of Pelham ; 
consecrating prayer, by Rev. Mr. Palmer, of Townsend ; right 
hand of fellowship, by Rev. Mr. Edwards, of Andover. It 
was the most solemn scene I ever witnessed. The whole 
audience (except a few Unitarians) were melted. Five re- 
ceived baptism, and thirty were admitted, fifteen of each sex. 
The church was consecrated by the name of ' The Union 
Church of Christ in Groton,' a name of my selection, as I 
hope the tAvo orthodox churches will one day be united. 
Thus, under God, have I been the means of organizing a new 
church in this dark part of our land. It is small, but I trust 
its foundations are strong and pure. I believe it to be built 
on the Rock Christ Jesus. To him would I give all the 
glory. 

12 



176 JOHN TODD. 

"Would you think it? At our last evening lecture the 
Unitarians set a trap for my poor self, intending to catch me 
and break my bones ! The next morning it was currently 
reported among them that Mr. Todd had met with a sad ac- 
cident, having broken his ankle, returning from an evening 
meeting. But thy servant was not caught." The " trap " 
was a rope stretched across the dark staircase leading down 
from the upper hall of the academy. It was Mr. Todd's prac- 
tice to close the meeting, and then, as he stood nearest the 
door, to go owt first. This habit was well known; and the 
rope was apparently designed to trip him up and throw him 
down the stairs, and perhaps break his neck. The attempt 
was made more than once, but was always discovered in 
time to prevent harm. *'This was not the worst they did. 
The night was very dark, and the meeting very full. On 
our coming out, the carriages were in a dangerous situation. 
Most of the reins w^ere unbuckled and tied to the collars ; 
most of the linchpins were taken out and thrown away. 
Some thirty lives were exposed ; but the good providence of 
God so ordered it, that the whole affair was discovered before 
any one was hurt." Within a few years, in the repairing of 
some old wooden steps, these linchpins were found concealed 
beneath them. " It is not known who the individuals were 
who did it ; but this is a fair specimen of the Unitarian spirit 
of this jolace and region. I should not be surprised if our 
new meeting-house should be burned down by them. They 
have a mortal dread of me. They see I am laying plans and 
springing traps that will eventually revolutionize this place. 
It is out of the question for them to attempt to stop the in- 
fluence of Bible-preaching upon this community. Our peo- 
ple are actually afraid that poor I shall get stabbed or shot 
dead in some of my evening walks. I have no such fears. 
They have the wrong man to be moved by threats or flat- 
tery. Both have been abundantly tried. Since the revival, 
they have hardly dared to be seen at any of our meetings; 
they are sore afraid. Over ninety have attended my inquiry- 
meetings, though some of these were from neighboring towns, 
and frequently came seven or eight miles. About fifty among 
my people have obtained a hope — such a hope, I trust, as will 
never forsake them. I pray God the work may not be stop- 
ped. The Unitarians yesterday offered our people a thou- 



LIFE AT GROT ON. 17 7 

sand dollars if they would 'sign off,' and form a distinct par- 
ish. And yet they pretend we have no claims there I It is, 
doubtless, all out of pure, disinterested benevolence. There 
is one subject which I have not yet mentioned, as it is one 
I dread to think upon. I have been hoping that the provi- 
dence of God would open a way of escape from this place of 
turmoil and anxiety. I have been the means, under God, of 
placing the falling standard of truth on these walls, and I 
have been hoping some other one would be sent to hold it 
up, and I should be permitted to leave this trying post. But 
God knows what is best. The new 'Union Church' here 
have given me a unanimous call to become their pastor. 
Their affectionate call now lies before me." The call pro- 
posed that the ordination should take place at the time of 
the dedication of the new meeting-house, and pledged the 
church to pay a salary of eight hundred dollars, or one hun- 
dred more than the salary of the Unitarian minister; which, 
when it is considered that orthodox people had no fund, or 
men of wealth, and were still taxed for the support of the 
Unitarian worship too, must certainly be considered very 
liberal. 

The question of the acceptance of this call was at once 
laid before the young lady whose interests were most at 
stake in it, with the request that she and her friends would 
decide it. But they were unwilling to assume any such re- 
sponsibility, and no answer was returned. After waiting for 
a fortnight in vain, and having no one to advise with, he 
made the decision for himself. In the letter announcing 
this decision to the church, he says : " When I began and 
when I completed my studies, preparatory to preaching the 
Gospel of Christ, I had marked out a very di^erent path of 
life from that w^hich I am now treading. I had hoped that 
God would deem me Avorthy to go to some foreign heathen 
land, and proclaim 'the unsearchable riches of Christ' among 
some people upon whom the Sun of Righteousness never 
shone. I had expected to lay my bones in some distant 
clime, far from kindred and friends and my native shores. 
I had pictured in my mind months and years of toil, and 
then the little church planted in the darkness of heathenism, 
like a light breaking through the gloom of midnight; and 
then I had hoped to die there, and sleep there till the morn- 



178 JOHN TODD. 

ing of the resuiTectioii, and then to awake to receive a crown 
of glory from the hand of Him who died for sinners. Such 
were my expectations. But there is an overruling Provi- 
dence who is wiser than we. It was an unseen hand that 
first led me to this place ; and the same mysterious wisdom 
hath since led you and me to the spot on which we now 
stand. God himself seemed to hedge up my way, so that 
from my first acquaintance with you to the present hour I 
have seen no time when I dared leave you. His interposi- 
tions and tokens of approbation have been so manifest in 
your behalf that it would be the height of ingratitude not to 
acknowledge his great goodness, and not to trust him im- 
plicitly for the future I have watched your prospects 

for the year past with an interest that has often been painful. 
I have seen the cloud rise and hang over you, and then seen 
it burst and the floods rush over you. But the cloud is with- 
drawing, and the Dove that lighted on our Saviour's head at 
his baptism is now spreading the wings of mercy over you. 
As a monument of the everlasting kindness of God, the in- 
fant church whom I now address has arisen from the desola- 
tions of this Zion ; and I pray God she may long stand ' the 
pillar and ground of the truth,' with her mouth filled with 
praise and her hands uplifted in prayer, till her glory go 
forth as the sun in his strength. Being free from all other 
special engagements, I hereby signify my acceptance of your 
invitation." 

The close of the year saw a great change in old Groton. 
The slumber of generations had been broken as by the last 
trumpet. In eight short months the greater part of the old 
church had been roused to do their duty; a great revival 
had brought one hundred and sixteen to inquire the way of 
life, and affected the whole community; a new church of 
thirty members had been organized, and eighteen more stood 
propounded; a congregation three or four times as large as 
any other in town had been gathered ; a class of two or three 
hundred were studying the Bible ; a new meeting-house had 
been built, and stood ready to be dedicated ; and the man 
who had been the means of accomplishing all this was about 
to enter its pulpit as a settled pastor. Surely there was 
truth as well as beauty in the opening sentence of the letter 
missive Avhich summoned a council to dedicate and to or- 



LIFE AT G BOTOX. 



179 



dain : "The church of the living God in this town has for a 
long time been sitting in affliction. The cloud still hano-s 
heavy over her. But the great Head of the Church has of 
late been visiting the desolations of this Zion, and the ran- 
somed are beginning to take down their harps from the wil- 
lows." 



ISO JOHN TODD. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

LIFE AT GROTON — conthiued. 

Ordiuation.— Dedication.— Shawls without Fringes.— Sale of Pews.— Reviv- 
als.— Sickness.— A hard Journey.— A Sunday-evening Meeting.— Girdling 
Trees.— The Bride.— Examination.— A great Barn of a Thing.- Sunday- 
school begun.— Active Ladies.— A judicious Pig.— The new Horse.— An 
unexpected Arrival.— A Week of Hope.— Fears,— A household Baptism. 
— Tears in the Pulpit.— A sad Evening.— The Rose-bud plucked. — A little 
Funeral. — Memories. 

The 3d of January, 1827, was an important day for the in- 
fant Union Church. In the afternoon the pastor-eleet was 
solemnly ordained by a council called for the purpose. Doc- 
tor Lyman Beecher, then pastor of the Hanover Street 
Church, in Boston, preaching the sermon. In the forenoon 
the new meeting-house was solemnly dedicated to the wor- 
ship of the Triune God. In inviting the people to join in 
the act of consecration, the preacher, who was the young pas- 
tor-elect, with a beautiful Christian spirit, exhorted them to 
cherish no bitterness of feeling in the remembrance of the 
past: 

" In looking back, you who have erected this house will be 
in danger of indulging hard and unchristian feelings. But 
do it not. It is true you have seen a strong hand stopping 
the church of God on the very door-steps of the ' old sanctu- 
ary ;' and you have seen age and sobriety and religion cast 
out, and unholy hands drawing aside the curtain from before 
the holy of holies, and the awful mysteries within brought 
forth to vulgar gaze. You have seen — but stop ! The his- 
tory of this house will be unfolded at the great day of ac- 
counts. It has cost you many tears and sacrifices ; but weep 
no more. All is written in the book of God above. Weep 
no more. Rejoice in the great goodness of God which you 
have experienced. I call upon you to lay aside every hard, 
every unholy feeling, and come in the spirit of Jesus, and 
unite with me while we now solemnly consecrate this house 
to God." 










i 



LIFE AT GROTON. 181 

Some idea of the interest that was felt in the new meet- 
ing-house, and of the sacrifices that were made for it, will 
be obtained from the fact that " almost all the active women 
and girls cut off half of the long fringe of their shawls to 
make a rug for the pulpit." One lady said that she would 
rather her husband should sell half his farm than that the 
undertaking should fail. 

" On the Sabbath after the ordination I administered the 
communion — an afternoon service. My great house was full: 
I was astonished at the multitude of people. I want you 
should become acquainted with my people during this re- 
vival. You can have no possible idea of the change that 
has taken place in society since I came here. Three miles 
west of me is a beautiful river, called the Squanecook — the 
Indian name. Here a part of my parishioners live, and here 
multitudes of heathen live. My friends are preparing me a 
pretty chapel over at this spot, and as soon as it is finished 
I am to open a battery there." 

A week or two later: "The pews in our meeting-house 
were put up at auction. The highest went at about one 
hundred and twenty dollars. I believe some ten or twelve 
went at over one hundred dollars each. Enough were sold 
to pay for the expense of land and building, and then we 
have from fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars' worth 
of pews left. These will be reserved to rent. Every body 
was astonished at the sale of the pews, and the Unitarians 
stand in wonder." 

All this time the revival continued unabated. "Eleven 
are now propounded for admission into my church, and as 
many as twelve more are hoping : a hundred and eighty on 
my inquiry-list." This religious interest seems to have been 
wide-spread. " Revivals of religion are quite astonishing in 
this part of our land. Boston is yet all in a ferment. Great 
good will undoubtedly result. In Lowell there are a hun- 
dred inquirers, and fifty hoping. In Andover, Mr. Edwards 
opened an inquiry-meeting last week, and thirty attended. 
Almost every one in the academy is under deep conviction 
or rejoicing; in Bradford almost the whole academy. In 
Portsmouth and all the towns around it — towns where they 
have been a desolation and without a pastor for half a cent- 
ury — there are great revivals." 



182 JOHN TODD. . 

The severe and continuous labor and excitement of this 
protracted revival at last began to tell upon the pastor's 
health. 

" February 22d. 

"A fortnight ago to-day I wrote you. The next day I 
was taken sick with a slow fever. On Sabbath I did not sit 
up. Monday and Monday night, was quite light-headed. 
Since, I have sat up about half the time. Last Sabbath I 
made out to preach. This week I have been gradually on 
the mending hand, though I gain but slowly. Thus my 
meetings have been mostly checked, which has cost me 
much anxiety. I know the Lord can carry on his work in 
his own way, but as this way is usually through the use of 
human means, I feel sorry to have them stop. Nothing is 
the matter except a running -down of my strength, which, 
with kind care, I hope soon to regain." 

Even before this attack his need of rest had been so ap- 
parent that, a favorable opportunity of supplying his pulpit 
oflering, it had been arranged that he should take a vacation 
of two or three weeks early in March, and that his marriage 
should take place during his absence — some weeks earlier 
than had previously been intended. 

His journey to Newington at this season of the year was 
necessarily tedious. " It rained in torrents, and, what was 
worse, there were sloughs and snow-banks in abundance, 
so that every now and then the passengers had to get out 
and lift, and push and tug, to keep the carriage from turn- 
ing keel up. Of course I lifted among the rest, though, as 
you may suppose, I was not quite as stout as some. I got 
wet and cold. We were three hours and a half in going 
nine miles. We had a noisy, story-telling crew, sometimes 
laughing, yelling, hooting, drinking, and swearing. We had 
no lady to protect us from the coarseness of their language. 
I neither ate nor slept till after eleven o'clock last evening. 
I arrived here yesterday toward three o'clock, quite cold and 
worn out. My feet were not dry from the time I left Boston 
till I got home. All my perils by land and by water, by 
storms and colds, were soon forgotten when once more among 
my friends. You had kept me so long at Groton that I was 
almost a stranger here, but am becoming acquainted slowly. 
I should say that in the course of a week I could feel quite 



LIFE AT GROT OK 183 

at home. Formerly I used to eat raiiice-pies, and cakes, and 
fruits, and all manner of delectables, when here; but now I 
can only sit and gaze. However, amidst all such privations 
(which to men of our taste are very great), I do not feel pe- 
culiarly unhappy in my present situation. How to give in- 
vitations for the occasion has been the anxious question since 
I came. They can not invite fifty without offending five hun- 
dred. On the whole, as the most safe and judicious method, 
we have concluded to have the oath administered publicly in 
the meetinoj-house, on the eveninoj of the comino- Sabbath." 

This somewhat unusual programme was actually carried 
out. After preaching twice on the Sabbath (March 11th), 
the bride being one of his hearers, the bridegroom-elect in 
the evening led the fairest girl in the village, and the sweet- 
est singer in the choir, to the front of the pulpit, and they 
were married by her father, " with appropriate remarks." 
A very" small reception, after the ceremony," to which only 
the family and immediate neighbors were invited, completed 
the solemnities, and gave sufiicient offense. 

It was the intention of the bridegroom to take his wife, 
first of all, down to East Guilford, to see some of his rela- 
tives ; but want of time and strength made it impossible. In 
writing his excuse to his sister Charlotte, he added, " I lately 
received a package of letters from Vermont, containing let- 
ters from Jonathan, Eliza, and Sister P . They all seemed 

to be pretty well except Jonathan, who was feeble. He men- 
tions his little John, about a year old, one of the greatest 
rogues that ever walked. So I suppose he inherits some of 
the virtues of his uncle. They all scold at me and about you, 
because, say they, we have been most unwarrantably negli- 
gent in our correspondence. I know not how you may an- 
swer the accusation, but for myself I immediately dispatched 
a huge sheet, almost as big as a barn-door, hoping it would 
still the storm ; and I advise you to do the same. Jona- 
than and Eliza are very good-natured; but as for Sister 

P , she is in quite a pet. A strange sister, that ! but 

there are some people who, if you put them in Paradise, will 
girdle the trees." 

The wedding tour consisted in the stage ride to Boston, 
and thence, after a visit of a day or two, to Groton. " The 
journey was so horrible, that I almost shudder to review it. 



184 JOHN TODD. 

Mary stood it fully as well as I did. It is just as I told you ; 
she is becoming so popular, that I must hereafter stand in 
the background. I have several times overheard them whis- 
pering, ' What a charming woman our Mrs. Todd is !' ' We 
are all delighted with her.' ' She is a great addition to our 
society,' etc., etc." It was arranged that the newly married 
pair should go to housekeeping about the 1st of May, and 
meantime should board at the old minister's. " We have 
a pretty parlor at our command, and an agreeable chamber 
over it, with a small chamber to put clothes in, etc. — giving 
us two fires. We are to have board, washing, wood, lights, 
horse and chaise, etc., as we need, for five dollars a week 
for both. In the parlor we receive calls ; in the chamber 
we study, sleep, and work. In the morning and evening 
we read and pray together, one reading the English and the 
other looking on the Greek alternately^ Then we study the 
Bible together. Mary sings also at times, at my request, 
and for my particular benefit. Our hymn-books are just 
alike. I bought her a beautiful Watts's Psalms and Hymns 
at Boston, and our people had put a carpet in her pew be- 
fore our return. Her new hat very much becomes her. It is 
leghorn, simple, trimmed with white satin, and lined with the 
same. Wednesday we dedicate our little chapel at Squane- 
cook." 

" April 9th. 
"Last Wednesday evening candidates were examined to 
be admitted into my church — five besides my dear Mary, 
four of them fine young men. The house was full, crowded, 
a very interesting meeting. Mary bore her part wonder- 
fully ; and lest they should think I was partial, the examina- 
tion was severe. I could not wish her to do better. She 
is now a member of our church." Mr. Todd himself never 
joined any church of which he was pastor, but to the day 
of his death remained a member of the church in Yale Col- 
lege. He was opposed, on principle, to a pastor's becoming 
one of his own flock. " On Fast-day I preached — morn- 
ing, on intemperance; afternoon, on slavery. I suppose my 
morning sermon will probably make 'no small stir' in town, 
for I drew and hewed with a broad-axe. Among other in- 
teresting items, I told them we should not keep any spirits 
in our family, not even wine." 



LIFE AT GROTOX 185 

To Mrs. Lucy Brace. 

"April 12th. 

"I can conceive something of your feelings, my dear 
mother, in having us leave you, though probably nothing as 
you do. I feel for you in these trying circumstances, but 
all I can do for you is to thank you, and that most unfeign- 
edly, for giving me so great a treasure. We are perfectly 
happy, and, so far as I know myself, it will ever be my high- 
est ambition to make your dear child happy to the utmost 
extent of my power. I could wish it in my power to do 
more for her in the way of property, but I need not tell 
you how little, on the whole, of real happiness depends upon 
mere drapery. There is one thing that troubles me, my dear 
mother, and that badly ; it is your health. Martha says it 
is poor, and you hint the same. What shall I say ? I say, 
do spare yourself I fear your anxiety respecting us has 
worn upon you. If I may give my advice, I would say, get 
help, and spare yourself labor till June, and then ship ofi'for 
Groton. I feel confident it would do you good; and you 
onust do it. We urge it, we entreat it. You say you love 
us, and we do not and can not doubt it ; do, then, for our 
sakes, be careful. The things appear to have come finely, 
though we have not as yet opened many. Very many 
thanks do we owe you, and do we give you, best of mothers, 
for your great goodness to us. We do and will love you ; 
do and will pray for you; and will do all in our power to 
make you happy in this life, and we will hope to meet in 
a world where separations are unknown and sorrows come 
not. I have not shed a tear since I left you, till I took up 
your letter; but now my eyes fill, and now they overflow." 

The only house that could be obtained for the young 
couple was probably the most unsuitable one in town. It 
was a great barn of a thing, "in the confusion of business," 
very much out of rej^air, and commanding a high rent. Be- 
fore taking possession of it, Mr. Todd wrote, " Nothing in our 
prospects is so gloomy as our great and expensive house." 
And after a few months' trial of it, he expressed the opinion 
that " it is the most villainous house that ever stood with so 
respectable a character. 

" It fronts east, three stories in front and four behind. It 
is light straw color, with new green window-blinds, fourteen 



186 JOHN TODD. 

windows in front. You come in, turn to the left, and our 
parlor is there. Opposite is a room for small meetings, j^ri- 
vate conversations, etc. Back of the parlor, kitchen, and 
cellar-kitchen beneath. Back of the other front room, two 
store-rooms and a dining-room. Second story, over the par- 
lor, my study; opposite, our sleeping-room. Back of my 
study, best chamber; back of our chamber, workshop and 
another chamber. Third story, two chambers and a beau- 
tiful hall for meetings, capable of holding three hundred. 
Here I have my Bible-class, and many meetings. It costs 
us considerable, but we make this a part of our annual char- 
ities." But this was not the only cost. So many meetings 
in the third story involved a great deal of labor, and carry- 
ing of chairs and lamps up and down. And, besides, for the 
sake of company in that great ark, and with a view to re- 
ducing the rent, Mr. Elizur Wright, the principal of the 
academy, and a lady teacher, and one or two boys, w^ere re- 
ceived into the family as boarders. All this brought upon 
the young wife an amount of labor which, with insufficient 
" help," she was unable to perform, and w^hich soon produced 
disastrous results. For a time, however, all went well. The 
"workshop" was fitted up with a rude lathe and a few join- 
er's tools, and was really useful as a place of manufacture 
as well as exercise. The garden was more of a failure. " I 
do long for a garden more than I ever supposed I should. 
We have land enough for a noble garden, but it is so wet 
and cold that we can not use it to any advantage. I see no 
way to remedy this evil. Gardens are not very much at- 
tended to here. 

"As to this place, the struggle is still continuing. Unita- 
rians are active, and so are we. They swear much, and we 
pray a little. Our Bible-class continues with unabated in- 
terest. It never was more flourishing. Our hall is filled. 
Unitarians come in also. We have commenced a Sabbath- 
school, between eighty and ninety scholars. The Unitarians 
followed us immediately, and are scouring the town for 
scholars. We have collected twenty-five dollars to begin a 
library for our school. The Unitarians immediately followed 
us, and got twenty dollars to form their library." 



LIFE AT GROTOK 187 

From 3Irs. Todd. 

"The Unitarians are very much troubled to keep their 
people together. The Hon. Mr. Lawrence said in Boston, 
' There is a fanatic in Groton who has made a s^reat noise, 
and has gathered the lower class of people about him, and, 
what is worst of all, he is picking from the other society.' 
Almost every day some strange story comes. One of the 
Unitarians came along the other day, and said to our next 
neighbor, who is also a Unitarian, ' Do you smell Mr. Todd's 
prayers? I should think he had got near enough.' Last 
week we had a meeting of the ladies to form a charitable as- 
sociation. About thirty-five were present, and several have 
since joined it. We hope to get seventy-five. Of course I 
am dignified with the ofiice of president. Some of our be- 
nevolent ladies, finding that the children in the poor-house 
did not attend any Sabbath-school, determined to fit them 
out. They went about it immediately, and on the morn- 
ing that they had fixed upon to go and carry the clothes, 
the committee w^ent over and forbade their going to our 
meeting, and said they would clothe them themselves. They 
had passed a vote in the spring that they would not fit them 
out to go to meeting anywhere. On Tuesday afternoon we 
had a meeting of between thirty and forty of our ladies to 
clean the meeting-house. It was swept and washed thor- 
oughly from beginning to end with hot water — pews, aisles, 
galleries, stairs, etc., all scoured with soap and sand — and it 
produced a great change. When the proposal was first 
made, many were in astonishment, for it has been con- 
sidered almost a disgrace to go and clean the meeting- 
house. Xobody could be hired to go and do it. This is 
another evidence of the readiness of our people for every 
good work. I do not believe that we should find a people 
who would treat us more kindly, or appear to love us more, 
than ours have done so far." 

From Mr. Todd to Mrs. Lucy Brace. 

"August 2cl. 
"Our dearest Mother, — We want to tell you a thou- 
sand things, all in the same breath ; but as you are good at 
picking out a troublesome skein of thread, so you can pick 



188 JOHN TODD. 

out all our little items of intelligence as you please. But 
time and paper are wasting, and, after all, I shall forget what 
I am going to say. I am in a hurry, have dipped my pen 
several times while thinking how and where to begin. I 
can not stop to tell you how father's letter at last came 
to hand; how it gratified us all to know you were in the 
land of the living; how the little books did 7iot come to 
hand, and then, after a long time, they did come to hand ; 
how Mr. Wright was delighted, and cheered, and swelled on 
the occasion (and while my finger is on the little fellow, I 
must just wink to you that I believe he is courting our land- 
lord's daughter, a pretty, wee bit of a thing, with a fine neck 
and good teeth, and large, rolling black eyes, and a little 
lisping voice, and small feet, with which she bewitches the 
lit-tle fellow. I really don't know but our happiness — Mary's 
and mine — will excite our very pig to fall in love, for so 
every thing else does that comes near us; even the philo- 
sophical Mr. H came near falling into a swamp) ; how 

the New England school flourishes, as also does the large 
one, and we have a hundred and thirty scholars ; how our 
hens have actually left us, though the pig sticks by and 
holds on well, though he has had a bad cough, and came 
near going into a consumption ; and how about the same 
time (last week on Monday) his dear master was also taken 
sick, and hardly sat up till Monday following, and was un- 
able to preach last Sabbath, but is now slowly recovering. 
But I must stop, for want of breath, and begin anew. This 
is the reason why we did not write before, viz., my sickness 
(not the pig's)." 

"Later. 
"Our pig continues to maintain his character as a judi- 
cious and talented pig. He is such a gentleman in his way, 
that we shall regret to kill him. You remember we told 
you how we had two hens given us, and how they ran ofi^ 
to our neighbor's. Well, this was slander, base slander ! for, 
lo and behold ! the yellow hen (the other is speckled) came 
ofl^ a few days since with six most beautiful little chicks, and 
did it all in our own barn ! We immediately made her a 
glorious coop (just four feet square), and there she is, edu- 
catinsc her children." 



LIFE AT GROT OX. 189 

"August 8th. 

" Early in the morning got into Mr. Chaplin's old wagon 
with ^Ir. Chaplin, and set our faces toward Xew Ipswich — 
twenty miles. Our journey was to buy a horse. I had seen 
one here more than a year ago which I liked very much. 
Very dusty. Arrived at about one o'clock. Found Captain 
Solomon Davis at home ; looked at his horse : raised it him- 
self; seven years old this summer ; black star in forehead ; 
fine build ; very gentle, but full of life ; a great jumper; no 
fence in the State can check it. We liked the creature. His 
name is Charles. Captain Davis asked a hundred and thirty 
dollars. We played the jockey. There were several cir- 
cumstances in our favor : (1.) He jumped so badly that they 
could not manage him. This was no objection to me. (2.) 
They were already determined to sell- him. (3.) They were 
exceedingly attached to the horse, and dreaded to have him 
sold where he would be abused. I made an offer. The 
women and children set in that I should have their "dear 
Charles," as they believed I would take good care of him. 
At last my offer was accepted, and I took the horse for a 
hundred dollars, and ran in debt for him. We put him in 
the wagon, and led old Charley. He got away, and we had 
to chase him over fences and meadows, and through corn 
and through thorns, for miles, before we caught the old 
creature. Got home in the evening exceedingly fatigued. 
My dear Mary was glad to see Charles, and quite as glad to 
see me. She likes Charles very much, and is going to make 
me a gingham apron, with sleeves, for me to clean him in." 

"Later. 

" Our horse answers, and more than answers, every expec- 
tation. He is a beautiful creature, and I must add what 
you won't like to hear, that ours is the handsomest horse 
and chaise in town. But they are both new, you must re- 
member." 

"September 10th. 

"'Why don't we keep Mary for hired help?' For three 
special reasons: (1.) We don't want her; (2.) She has the 
rheumatism so that she can do nothing; (3.) She is pub- 
lished, and is on the very brink of matrimony. All that we 
have to say on this point more is, (1.) We have had miser- 
able help for some weeks past; (2.) We have engaged a 

13 



190 JOHN TODD. 

new girl, and expect her this week. At her approach we 
hope many troubles will vanish. I take care of my horse 
Charles myself, but very much need a boy. Every thing 
thus far goes well with us. People wonder, and congratu- 
late us on having all go so ' glibly ' and smoothly. It does 
so ; but then, as you know, it needs a prodigious power at 
the crank to keep the wheels in motion, and great care to 
prevent their tendency to friction." 

But the sunshine was now interrupted by a cloud of real 
trouble, which gathered suddenly and unexpectedly. 

" There are a thousand impressions which we receive dur- 
ing our earthly pilgrimage, and which at the time are in- 
teresting, and often deep and solemn. But as soon as they 
have gone by, and we return to the active pursuits of life, 
they gradually become less and less vivid till they are 
wholly gone. All can look back to such events, and they 
seem like pleasant or troubled dreams ; and all wish that 
they had something to recall the circumstances of the scenes, 
so that they could live them over in all their detail. It is 
for this purpose I now write these pages, that when one and 
another event shall have partially obliterated what now 
seems as if it could never be forgotten, I may recall it to 
my own mind and feelings, and to those of my dear wife. 
For her eye and mine alone I write. 

"Our dear little boy was born at sunrise, October 6th, 
1827. Mrs. Todd had been remarkably well and active 
since our marriage, and probably his premature birth was 
owing to her over-exertion. At his birth, none seemed to 
think he could live but a short time ; but with great exer- 
tions he was made to revive. He was small, but promised, 
humanly speaking, to do well. He soon opened his eyes, 
and began to notice sounds and objects of sight. For a 
week we had no fears concerning him, and enjoyed as much 
as parents could enjoy. When I went out, I hastened home 
to see my dear child lie in his mother's arms, and, at the 
sound of my voice, open his dark-blue eyes and turn them 
toward me. We began to talk of a name, and in my own 
mind I had begun to form many little plans concerning him. 

"As we had been married not quite seven months, the 
enemies of religion at first made a great noise about it, and 
threw out a multitude of stories; but as it was well known 



1 



LIFE AT GUOTON. 191 

that I bad not been out of Groton for eight months previous 
to our marriage, and as Mrs. Todd's character stood far 
above all suspicion, the stories only buzzed a while throuo-h 
the region, never disturbing us, and never injuring us in the 
least. 

"On Saturday, the little boy being a week old, we 
weighed him again, and found that he had lost. Here I 
first began to fear that he would not be spared to us. Still, 
he seemed well, and his nurse appeared to have no fears con- 
cerning him. 

"In the afternoon of the same day he was evidently sick, 
and we began to be alarmed. Every thing was done for 
him which could be. That night he rested pretty well. 

"Sabbath morning he was evidently very sick — appeared 
to have something like fits — and during breakfast he tui-ned 
so black as greatly to alarm his mother; but from this he 
soon recovered. I was obliged to leave at half- past ten 
o'clock, to go into the pulpit. I left the child in his nurse's 
arms, and tears in the eyes of his mother. I endeavored to 
conceal my fears and feelings, and went into the pulpit with 
a heavy heart. As soon as possible I was at home, and 
found the child worse, and his mother greatly distressed. 
It was then evident that he could not live. When I really 
came to the conclusion that he must die — our own sw^eet 
boy, our first-born, must die — it was almost insupportable. 
As we then came to the conclusion that he must leave us, 
we determined to give him formally to our covenant -God 
in baptism. I immediately wrote a note to our friend, Mr. 
Chaplin, requesting him to bring his venerable father down 
to baptize our dying child. Mrs. Todd's dressing-table was 
placed before her bed, the baptismal font w^as placed on it, 
and the family stood around the room. The child was in 
the arms of the nurse. The venerable old man. Doctor 
Chaplin, prayed with deep feeling and great appropriateness. 
I was kneeling by the side of the bed and holding my dear 
Mary's hand, while we both wept, and endeavored to give 
our child to God. The prayer ended, I took the dear babe 
in my arms and presented him to Doctor Chaplin. The old 
man w^as eighty-four years old, upward of six feet high, sil- 
ver locks, and the most venerable person I ever saw. Our 
child was eight days old, fair, well-proportioned, and seven- 



192 JOHN TODD. 

teen inches in length. Striking contrast, indeed ! He was 
solemnly baptized into the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by the name of John William — 
the former name being his father's, and the latter that of his 
friend. The bell rang for meeting while the ordinance was 
administering, and I was obliged to go again into the pulpit, 
expecting to find my child a corpse on my return. I walked 
alone to meeting, with my eyes flowing. It was an agony 
which I can remember, but can not describe. On entering 
the pulpit, I felt somewhat composed : attempted to read 
that beautiful hymn beginning, 

" ' It is the Lord, enthroned in light, 
Whose claims are all divine. 
Who has an undisputed right 
To govern me and mine.' 

"Immediately a thousand inexpressible feelings rushed 
through my heart. I choked, hesitated, faltered, wept, and 
sat down after reading one stanza. The audience felt for 
me, and very many wept. I preached as well as I could, 
hardly knowing what I was about, and again hastened 
home, and again found our dear child alive. 

"It was now toward night, and he continued to have 
spasms, in which he would turn black, groan, and seem to 
be in great pain. I sent immediately for a physician, who 
put him in warm water, and he revived ; but it was only for 
a time. During the whole afternoon the nurse held him in 
her lap without moving. In the evening, hoping it would 
endanger Mrs. Todd less, I had him removed into my study. 
He was carried out, and it was the last time his weeping 
mother ever saw him alive. I was in and out of the study 
during the evening, but was for the most part with my wife. 
At ten o'clock he had an awful spasm. I went in, and was 
told he was no more. I gazed at him : his beautiful little 
features were all composed and set, and it seemed as if Death 
had indeed now set his seal. All hope was cut ofi", all doubt 
removed. I returned to my dear Mary, and was obliged to 
tell her our first-born was no more. She burst into grief the 
most passionate, and it seemed as if her very frame would 
be crushed under the burden. We spake but little : it was, 
that God ruled ; that our dear boy had gone to his bosom ; 
that we trusted he would be among the angels, himself an 



LIFE AT GIWTON. I93 

angel ; and that we should meet him again beyond the shores 
of mortality. I then knelt by the bed of Mrs. Todd, and we 
prayed, our right hands joined, and we committed and gave 
ourselves away to God. 

"At eleven o'clock I left Mrs. Todd and went into the 
study; and here was the most severe trial I was called to 
undergo. I found the child was not dead : he had revived, 
and was now in great agony; it was the agony of death. 
He was in the arms of Miss Chaplin, his eyes open, his 
arms thrown out, his little fists clenched, and every muscle 
brought into the most intense action. They dared do noth- 
ing to relieve the little sufferer. I immediately gave him 
paregoric, and anointed his chest with warm olive-oil. His 
pains were less intense after that. As he lay with his eyes 
open, I spoke to him, called him 'John;' he turned his head 
and bright eyes toward me with an expressiveness that I 
shall never forget. I do not pretend he knew me or my 
voice ; but it was such a look as a dying child might wish 
to leave with his father, if he could choose. I sat without 
turning my eyes from him for an hour, and then returned to 
inform his mother that he was still living. I did not see 
him again alive ; for he ceased to breathe soon after the Sab- 
bath was over. I never saw such suffering before ; and it 
seemed as if God had indeed cursed our race, and had most 
awfully written his displeasure with sinners on the features 
of our dying boy. Mysterious system ! that such a child 
should suffer so intensely ! But ' clouds and darkness are 
round about Him,' which we trust will one day all be rolled 
away. 

" Early on Monday morning I opened my study door. The 
room was solitary, the windows open, and the cold winds of 
a chilly morning Avere sighing through the shutters. The 
room was in perfect order. In a corner, near my book-case, 
were two chairs, and a white cloth between them. I went 
slowly and lifted the cloth, and there lay my sweet boy, pale 
as the cloth which covered him; the beautiful white robe 
of the grave was upon him ; his little hands were folded on 
his bosom ; he was dressed for the coffin. Never did I see 
a countenance so beautiful. Every part was well-propor- 
tioned and perfect. His dark-brown hair was parted on his 
forehead under his cap. It seemed as if death never could 



194 JOHN TODD. 

gather a fjiirer flower. I stood over him for a long time, 
and, if possible, loved my boy more in death than in life. 

"For fear of injuring Mrs. Todd, we had rather a private 
funeral, that afternoon, at half-past three o'clock. There may 
have been fifty present, all of whom seemed to feel for us. 
The good old man was our pastor. He talked well to us : 
they sung a hymn, and he made the prayer. The little creat- 
ure was put into a mahogany coffin, with a plate on the top 
with the following inscription: 'John W. Todd, who died 
October 15, 1827, aged nine days.' Without any parade or 
bell, he was carried in a chaise, and I rode alone in my chaise, 
and saw him softly laid in Doctor Chaplin's tomb, in the 
very spot where the good man himself expects to lie. When 
that event takes place, I intend to have him placed beside the 
old man's head, or on his breast, that in the morning of the 
Resurrection they may rise together. It seemed to be his 
wish to have him entombed there, and it was gratifying to 
us, for it seems as if even the grave would be sanctified by 
his remains." 

Years afterward he ^\^rote : 

" I shall perish sooner than forget the feelings which I had 
clinging around our dear first-born. I know that we did 
not deserve him, and that it was all right; but my aching- 
heart too frequently goes back to that dear lost one, and the 
gems of all the earth could not compensate for the loss of 
that one. Is he now alive? Shall we ever know him? Will 
that beautiful form ever come up again from the tomb ? Oh, 
the agony of that moment when the little coffin-lid was act- 
ually closed ! May God in mercy spare me from ever wit- 
nessing: another such scene !" 



LIFE AT GROT OX. 195 



CHAPTER XIV. 

LIFE AT GROTON — Continued. 

How to get a Bell.— The best House in Town. — The haunted House.— Pat- 
tering of little Feet.— A Unitarian Funeral.— Immortal Hens.— Mission- 
ary Visitations. — A Runaway. — An extraordinary Woman. — A Baby In- 
tirmary. — Invitation to a Funeral declined.— The Letter. — A New-comer. 
—Death of Doctor Chaplin.— The bereaved Father.— A lazy Agent.— Med- 
icine with a Vengeance. — A pretty Girl. — The dying young Man.— Re- 
sults of the Groton Movement. — Author V8. Pastor. 

"In one year my people have done as follows: Meeting- 
house, $6000 ; horse-sheds, 8IOOO ; salary, $800 ; stoves, $120 ; 
communion furniture, $120; singing, $85; bell, $600 ; Sab- 
bath-school, $48 ; Bible -class, $100 ; total, $8873. Is not 
this doing well ? Three years ago it would have been next 
to impossible to raise fifty dollars in town for any object 
connected with religion. They are a peculiar people, are in 
a peculiar situation, and my influence is and has been some- 
what peculiar. My influence in carrying a point is never di- 
rect. I come as near to it as possible without broaching it, 
and then set a few about it. For example : I wanted a bell, 
and knew not how to raise six hundred dollars. I felt of a 
few minds, and found they were ofi". All was still. I then 
got three sets of subscription-papers ready, one for young 
men, one for elderly men, one for ladies. .1 then took a little 
strip of paper, and wrote the names of five active young men, 
about seventeen or eighteen years old. I then gave it to 
one of them, and requested him to invite them to my study. 
They came : I talked with them about the bell ; got them 
warmed up, just as dogs have their ears rubbed to make 
them fierce ; then gave them each a paper, to go to the 
young men in their several parts of the town. They did so, 
and got one hundred and eighty dollars. Very well. I 
next started the men ; and then the ladies. When the thing 
began, no one favored it but myself; and in all this I have 
kept entirely out of sight, and the people think they did it 
all. This is a specimen of my generalship," 



196 JOHN TODD. 

In the beginning of 1828 an opportunity offered to oc- 
cupy half of one of the best houses in town at a low rent. 
A wide hall separated the vacant half from the part that 
was occupied by a small and respectable family, and the 
two tenements were in other respects quite distinct. As 
the rent was kindly remitted for the first two months, Mr. 
and Mrs. Todd hastened to leave, even before the year for 
which they had hired it, the house which had been so unfort- 
unate a one for them, and had become so sorrowful. Hardly 
were they comfortably settled in their new home, when there 
began to be rumors that the house which they had left was 
" haunted." 

"It w^as a large, three- storied house, with brick ends, 
wood front and back. It was well lighted with a multitude 
of windows. It stood in the midst of a thick neighborhood, 
other houses clustering all around it. In short, there was 
nothing about the house, inside or out, that would lead one 
to suspect it was the place where ghosts would resort. It 
was the last place one would select for a murder to be com- 
mitted ; and yet the house was said to be haunted. It stood 
empty, and strange noises were heard in it. Sometimes it 
would seem to be filled with groans, then again with sighs, 
and then the patter of little feet would be heard, and then 
the w^ails of an infant. The neighbors became excited. 
Some heard all sorts of noises, some only one, and some al- 
most heard them. In the night, when all was stillness and 
darkness, the noises were the most fearful. Some felt sure 
that ' all was not right there ;' some said ' strange secrets lie 
concealed within those walls ;' some were very sure that a 
murder had been committed there, and the dead one was 
haunting the place. They were not exactly sure whether 
the murdered one was a full-grown man, as the many groans 
would seem to indicate, or whether it was a little child, 
whose feet were pattering on the naked floor. They were 
almost afraid to go past the ' haunted house ' in the night, 
and no one, even in the daytime, dared to enter it. 

"As I had occupied the house last, and as I had lost ray 
little infant boy there, it was natural that I should hear of 
it; and thougli I believe no one actually accused me of mur- 
der, yet they shook their heads, and arched their brows, and 
thought 'the whole thing wonderfully strange.' At first I 



LIFE AT GROTON. 197 

paid no attention to it ; but as the hints became louder, and 
the whispers deeper, and the murmurs clearer, I saw it would 
injure the character of the house, and prevent the owner from 
renting it, even if it did not injure me. I must confess, how- 
ever, tliat though I could never hear any noises as I passed 
by iu the evening, yet the testimony of so many staggered 
me. I determined, therefore, to investigate it myself, and 
that very quietly. So I procured the keys, and, strange to 
say, as I went toward the house, and was seen to have the 
hardihood to enter it alone, the neighbors gathered round 
the front door in the street to watch the result. I said noth- 
ing, but went in. A few moments satisfied me about * the 
little feet tliat pattered on the floor.' There had been many 
such, for the rats had made the house their head-quarters, 
gnawing the floors, tearing ofl" the paper from the walls, 
scattering the plaster, and leaving their little foot-prints very 
abundantly. But those groans ! I could find nothing that 
cast any light on them. The bouse was silent as a tomb. 
The sunlight streamed in the windows, and I had but to 
think over the hours of joy and sorrow I had passed there. 
There I had had a happy home, had rejoiced over my first- 
born child, and had there seen him breathe out his young 
spirit to God who gave it. From room to room I wandered, 
and all was silence till I opened the door of the chamber in 
which my child died. Then instantly there was a sharp, 
deep (rroan ! What could it mean ? The people about the 
door heard it, and what an awful feeling of terror went 
through them ! I was not frightened, but I Avas at a loss to 
account for it. It evidently had been called out by my 
opening the door. But the room was perfectly bare; not a 
thing in it. Soon the groan was repeated. I now went to 
the chimney and tore away the fire-board, and looked up, and 
there, just in the throat of the fire-place, was— not a ghost, 
but — a shingle that had been blown into the chimney, and 
had fallen down and been lodged in the throat, so that it 
could swing backward and forward, and when the wind 
blew it w^ould groan sharp, or shrill, or deep, according to 
the strength of the wind. Thus it was that, on my opening 
the door and letting the wind into the room, the sliingle 
swung and nearly filled the throat, and the air rushed and 
groaned past it. I took pains to call up the people, and I 



198 JOHX TODD. 

verily believed they wished rather to go home than to go 
iu. I put back the fire-board and opened the door, made 
them hear the groans, took away the fire-board again, showed 
the shingle, and how it i-attled and groaned, then took it 
away, and put things back, and opened the door, and — there 
were no more groans. A little ratsbane scattered on the 
floor stopped ' the pattering of little feet,' and the house 
ceased to be haunted ! And yet it icas haunted as really as 
any one ever was, as I verily believe !" 

"February 27th. 

"Doctor Chaplin has applied for his salary, and is going 
to sue for it, and that makes a big buzz in town. Our peo- 
ple are going to try to put new men into ofiice in town, if 
possible, next week. I have many doubts as to their suc- 
ceeding. As things now appear, if we can persuade our 
people to stand just as they now do, the time will come 
when they will be a majority in this town. It is best that 
they should not do it at once ; for I should deprecate the ef- 
fects of sudden and unexpected victory while wrongs are un- 
forgotten — if that is an English word." 

"March 26th. 

"Mrs. Todd and myself have attended, on special invi- 
tation, the funeral of Mrs. Robinson (the young wife of the 
Unitarian minister). In the room of mourning were Doc- 
tor R , of Concord ; Rev. Mr. W , of Littleton ; etc., 

besides the mourners. The Doctor was consoling them 
when we went in. I was glad to go, on Mrs. Todd's ac- 
count, who had never heard any Unitarian. As she did not 
take it in the natural way, I think she will not in any other, 
for she seems satisfied even with her minister in comparison. 
The Doctor said nothing about sin, depravity, atonement, 
repentance, regeneration, resurrection, or future retribution. 
Of course his remarks and prayer were, like the bones of the 
vision, ' very dry ;' and they were ' very many ' too — a great 
deal of repetition, but not a single thought calculated to do 
any soul any good. Every thing future was dim and indis- 
tinct. By-the-way, the more indefinite your views are re- 
specting eternity, the less is your power over men in preach- 
ing. Hence the New Testament is everywhere as definite 
as human language and comparisons can describe unseen 
and unearthly things." 



I 



LIFE AT GROT ON. 199 

"April 18tb. 

" We must once move mention our hens, though their 
very name is associated with gloom. Tliey were doing 
most judiciously, that is, the leader was crowing most man- 
fully, and the ladies had already afforded us one hundred 
and ten eggs, and were continuing to give us four per diem, 
when, lo and behold ! our neighbor wrote us a note inform- 
ing us that our hens annoyed him. How they did it we 
know not, save that they crowed and cackled, and thus raised 
a little demon called envy. So, as we could not think of kill- 
ing them, we gave them away to the old minister's family, 
who have promised to be kind to them. 'Sunt lacrymse re- 
rum et mentem mortalia tangunt.' The old hen is sitting on 
fifteen eggs, and is to follow as soon as she comes off. They 
were all beautiful in our eyes, and we almost wept when they 
departed. They must now probably finish their course like 
vulgar hens, and have no one to give them immortality. 

"At our w^eekly prayer-meeting before the public fast, I 
proposed to my church to spend the forenoon of Fast-day 
in prayer, and in devising ways of doing good for tlie ensu- 
ing season. They agreed to it, and appointed a committee 
of four to report on that occasion — one on the Bible-class, 
another on the Sabbath-school, a third on intemperance, and 
myself on the situation of the poor families in this town. In 
consequence of my report, the church voted to take meas- 
ures to ascertain the wants of this people in regard to the 
Bible. A committee of twenty-two ladies was chosen, to go 
and spy out the land. They divided the town into eleven 
sections, and went two by two. Out of almost three hun- 
dred and thirty families, they visited two hundred and 
sixty-seven, their hearts failing them in regard to the rest. 
Some of these ladies were two full days on their mission, 
taking their food and their horses' food with them. The 
business was all done up in two days. It set the whole 
town in an uproar, but no lawyer could bring an action 
against us. What is equally pleasing, the church voted to 
supply all wants at her own expense. In a few instances 
only were these female missionaries treated otherwise than 
with politeness and gratitude. It did them all good. The 
Unitarians are mad enough at me, considering me as the au- 
thor of all this mischief." 



200 JOHN TODD. 

"April 28tli. 
"This afternoon, as I was going to Sliirley, I thought it 
best that Mrs. Todd sliould visit at Mrs. Dickson's wliile I 
was gone. We called at Doctor Chaplin's door. Jnst be- 
fore we got there, onr horse became a little scared, but we 
thought but little of it. At the door I stepped on the door- 
step to call William, holding the reins in my hand. The 
horse was rather restive, and, as I always do, I endeavored to 
bring him to obedience. Mrs. Todd was in the chaise talk- 
ing with the ladies, and I was talking with William, but 
jnst stepping into the chaise. All at once Charles jumped, 
and dragged me off the steps. I held on to the reins till the 
chaise came up to the side of the house, and was crushing 
both of my hands, when I could hold no longer. Again he 
sprung, and ere human aid could reach, he was off, chaise, 
Mrs. Todd, and all — the reins on the ground — and never 
could a deer run faster. I sprung, and the women groaned. 
I nearly kept up with him till after he had crossed the main 
street, when he seemed to outstrip the wind, as he really 
did. The merchants dropped their pens, and two wagons 
were immediately after him as fast as horses could go. I 
gave my dear Mary up to God, and if ever I prayed, it was 
during these moments of agony. I never expected to see 
her again alive. The horse ran, and turned round Judge 
Dana's to the right, still keeping the path. Mrs. Todd, Avith 
wonderful presence of mind, kept her seat, spoke kindly to 
him, calling him by name, and soon he began to slacken a 
little. At the end of the street was a boy sitting down by 
the roadside. Mrs. Todd beckoned to him, and pointed to 
the horse. The little fellow sprung up, caught the reins, 
and stopped him. By this time the wagons had arrived, 
and there was help enough. Mrs. Todd was safe, unhurt, 
and, what is still more wonderful, the least frightened of any 
of the company. It was a most wonderful escape; and I do 
hope and trust that we have hearts grateful in some degree 
proportionate to the magnitude of the mercy we have re- 
ceived. Mrs. Todd is now thought to be the most extraor- 
dinary woman in the world — not to jump out! not to 
scream ! not to yell ! not to faint ! Indeed, I have long had 
this opinion of my dear Mar}^, so it is nothing new to me. 
But I have determined to sell my horse as soon as possible ; 



LIFE AT GROT ON. 201 

and shall never ask her to ride after him again. We shall 
both cry when he goes, for he is the most beautiful and af- 
fectionate creature in the shape of a horse that I ever saw. 
But he is too gay for us, and, I suppose, we have been too 
proud of him." 

From Jlrs. Todd. 

"April 22d. 

"I had no idea that boarders made so much dilierence in 
a family. Mr. Todd says we have never known what it was 
to live before. You would smile to see hoio we live. We 
have bought fresh meat only twice (except for the associa- 
tion), and fish once, in two months. Sometimes we have 
pancakes for dinner, and nothing else, sometimes bread-aud- 
milk." 

"May 23d. 

" We are interested in all that interests yon, and, with 
mother, have most deeply lamented the great distance that 
passes between our monthly dispatches. It certainly has a 
bad effect upon the heart ; and if ' absence is the tomb of 
affection,' it does seem as if we ought to hear more frequent- 
ly. So, for our part, you need not wonder if you hear from 
us oftener. Mary and I once tried to write only once in 
three weeks, but we both grew poor upon it, and altered it 
to a fortnight. The months of our little lives are going 
rapidly enough ; and the time may come, nay, it icill come, 
when we shall most fondly go back and look upon every 
monument of love, and wish that they were many more, and 
perhaps regret that we did not cause more to be reared. 

" That Dvvight Gymnasium ! I believe it to be mere 
fudge ; but it will go for a short time. You can not start any 
thing new but it will go, especially if it be some new mode 
of learning. The fact is, parents can not bear to think their 
children are not geniuses ; and in the old way it is soon dis- 
covered that not one in a thousand is a genius, but a mere 
plodding mortal like others. Therefore is the call so great 
for innovation ; and if you would set up a skatiiig-school, I 
have no doubt that it would be amply patronized. If God 
ever gives me any children, I hope he will give me that 
modicum of common sense which will send them to learning 
in the old way. Xot that I suppose every improvement in 
education complete : Johnson said so, and we know he was 



202 JOHN TODD. 

a, fool at times ; but the rage for innovation is so great, that 
it seems as if it would sweep down all barriers. A man in 
Newburyport has actually sent me a circular (I wisli the 
poor dog had paid the postage) in which he proposes to set 
up a baby infirmary ! that is, if there are any babies six 
months old who can not walk, or talk, or run, it is some dis- 
ease, and the learned fool is to cure them !" 

The runaway Charles was succeeded by Prince — "very 
large and strong, six years old, perfectly gentle and docile, 
can not live upon air, and is not particular as to his diet. 1 
hope he will be the creature we want." 

From 3frs. Todd. 

"July 20th. 

"Mrs. Peabody has recently died here. Mr. Todd had 
visited her, by request of her husband and herself, several 
times ; and with some it was doubtful who would be called 
to attend the funeral. Mr. Todd, however, did not expect 
it. On the morning after her death, who should appear, in 
one of the hardest rains we ever have, but L. Lawrence, Esq., 
with Mr. Peabody's request that Mr. Todd would attend the 
funeral, read a hymn, and address the mourners, and Mr. 
Robinson would make the prayers. For his part, he said, 
he could see no objection. It was very evident that he 
came prepared to persuade Mr. Todd, if he made objection. 
It seemed to be a difficult case. She was one of our nearest 
neighbors. Mr. Todd had visited her often. She died pro- 
fessing to trust in an almighty Saviour. It might be a fine 
opportunity to do good, to say nothing about pleasing Uni- 
tarians, and some of our own people. What was to be done? 
Mr. Todd said that if it would be just as well, he would give 
Mr. Peabody an answer in a few hours'. He went directly 
into his study, and in about two hours wrote a letter to Mr. 
Peabody, refusing to go, and giving his reasons. Thus we 
are called upon to exercise wisdom, prudence, and self-de- 
nial." 

A few weeks after this, Mi-. Todd wrote, ",My church have 
printed my letter to Mr. Peabody. Copies and reports were 
so numerous that we printed it in self-defense, in a little 
pamphlet." And again, some weeks later, "To-day I have re- 
ceived orders for fifty of my ' Letter,' for Worcester, and ten 



LIFE AT GROTON. 203 

for Shirley. We have only twenty-five left. The Worcester 
people are greatly nettled by it. The writer of the letter 
to me says he got a single copy of it, and lent it among all 
denominations, and it produces a most marvelous stir amono- 
the Unitarians. What will be the result of it, God only can 
foresee. I heard nearly a month ago that they had an an- 
swer to it in press, but it has not come out. Never has any 
little affair produced so much excitement in this whole re- 
gion." 

This " Letter," which created such commotion, and which 
defended a course so much at variance with the practice of 
orthodox ministers at the present day, disavows all personal 
feeling in the case, and places the refusal on the broadest 
grounds of conscience. 

"I do believe that Unitarianism is not the Gospel of 
Christ. I have read the Bible, I have wept and prayed over 
it, and there is nothing like it there. Christ did not preach 
it ; the apostles did not preach it ; the redeemed in heaven 
do not celebrate it. I can not do any thing to uphold it. I 
repeat it, I have no personal enmities or dislikes; but as I 
conscientiously believe that Unitarianism will not and can 
not save the soul, I can not give my feeble influence in its 
favor. I do not believe that Jesus Christ will ever acknowl- 
edge it as his religion, or its ministers as his ministers; and 
I can not, therefore, acknowledge it as being the Gospel, or 
them as being the ministers of the Gospel. Do you say this 
is bigotry, and exclusiveness, and illiberality ? Call it what 
you please, but so is my most solemn conviction ; and though 
I know I shall lose popularity with the world by avowing 
such opinions, yet, in view of the great judgment-day, I dare 
not do otherwise; my conscience and my God would con- 
demn me if I did. By acceding to your polite invitation, I 
come alongside of a Unitarian minister, and thereby public- 
ly acknowledge him to be a minister of Jesus Christ. Sir, 
in view of the judgment-day, I dare not do it." 

"September 23d. 

" It is a very beautiful morning. Mother is well, and Mrs. * 
Todd is quite well, and little Mary Brace Todd is well ! She 
was born last evening ; is a perfect child, as fat as a par- 
tridge, and as beautiful to us as she could be. I trust we all 
unite in giving thanks to God for his great goodness." How 



204 JOHN TODD. 

little was it foreseen in what an evening of darkness and 
sorrow the life whose morning was so fair and joyful would 
end ! 

" October 12th. 
"This community will not soon forget Doctor James P. 
Chaplin, late of Cambridgeport, a man highly and univer- 
sally beloved. He has been cut down suddenly in the bloom 
of health and in the midst of usefulness. His fall will be 
felt far round the spot where his dust sleeps, and his name 
will be embalmed in the sweetest recollections of those who 
knew him best. He was the child of many prayers, the ob- 
ject of fond expectation, and all that a father could desire 
in a son. The affection between the father and the son was 
reciprocal : the father leaned upon him as upon a staff, and 
the son repaid the confidence by acts which nothing but the 
most refined aftection could suggest. It might be said, as of 
Jacob, the old man's heart was bound up in the child. On 
Friday, as I was going to ride with Mr. Chaplin for my health, 
he received a letter stating that his brother was worse. He 
had been ill for some time, and had just returned from a jour- 
ney. So Mr. Chaplin took the chaise, and went down to Cam- 
bridgeport as quickly as possible. This evening, just as I 
was going to attend my Bible-class, Mr. Chaplin stood on the 
door-steps. He was chilled through, and looked more than 
sick. I took him by the hand, for I knew at once that his 
only brother must be no more. Never did I see affliction 
more deep. The lamented man died this morning at nine 
o'clock. He came in, and I immediately went to my Bible- 
class, and told them to turn their meeting into a prayer- 
meeting, and added that Doctor James Prescott Chaplin 
was no more. A deep, audible groan through the assembly 
testified how the stroke was felt in his native village. As 
we were going to the house of the aged father, the son said, 
'These are heavy tidings to carry to an old man, a father al- 
most ninety years of age !' It was all that passed between 
us on the way. The old man had been to meeting this aft- 
ernoon, and had a note up in behalf of his son. Mr. Chaplin 
could not go in till I had first communicated the tidings. In 
a few moments I was standing in the fifmily parlor. There 
was the old man, with his wife and daughters. He Avas sit- 
ting by the stand, reading his little Testament. 'Have you 



LIFE AT GROTOK 095 

heard any thing from Cambridge to-day, sir?' 'No,' he re- 
plied, with uncommon quickness. There was a long pause, 
each dreading to speak. 'Are you prepared, sir, to receive 
any tidings which Providence may send ?' He started per- 
ceptibly; the hectic flush passed over his countenance, but 
it was gone in a moment. 'At what hour,' said he, with a 
calmness that was more than affecting — it was sublime — ' at 
what hour did the awful event take place ?' I told him. A 
burst of agony broke from every one except the aged father. 
His youngest and only son came in. He had not slept nor 
eaten since he left home. The good old man wiped the tears 
which gently stole down his cheeks, and calmly took William 
by the hand. 'Had the Doctor his senses after you reached 
him ?' ' Xo, sir, he was then dying.' ' Does he look natural 
since he died?' 'Perfectly so.' 'This is hard, my son; he 
was a great pillar to our family, but I rejoice that Christ is 
a greater pillar. It is hard- for flesh and blood, but I am 
thankful that I had such a son to give back to my glorious 
Saviour. In the great scale of Providence it is all as it should 
be. He was in the prime of life and in the height of his use- 
fulness, but Christ knew best when to call him away.' He 
then resumed his seat, and while we were all weeping almost 
aloud, the venerable man, with a steady voice, for a full hour 
continued his discourse to us in a similar strain. Xever did 
I conceive of a resignation like this. It was not stupid feel- 
ing, nor the blunting of age, for tears rolled down his cheeks 
continually. It was the man, the father, the minister, bap- 
tized by the Holy Ghost. I was ashamed of any resigna- 
tion or religion which I ever called my own." 

" October 26th. 
" Have been mad, and plagued, and bothered, four days 
and as many nights, with one of those paltry agents^ and his 
horse ! Wanted money for the Tract Society ; a good ob- 
ject, but why do they send such green, raw -headed, self- 
sufiicient, lazy fellows about? He is a student, and wanted 
a gentlemanly way of spending his vacation ; lazy, and could 
hardly feed himself I gave him my mind on this agency 
business with a freedom which he will not soon forget. At 
first I told him that I would not further his designs one hair, 
unless he would do just as I wanted to have him, and go 
to work. After some grumbling, he surrendered. I then 

14 



206 JOHN TODD. 

marked out my plan, and set him to work. It was this : he 
should go twice to all the towns in this vicinity ; first, to 
api^oint meetings for every day next w^eek, and, secondly, to 
attend those meetings; the object — to form an 'auxiliary 
Tract Society for Groton and the vicinity ' — to plant a good 
and permanent depository of tracts at Groton. He has vis- 
ited the towns, and their ministers fall in with it. I want 
to raise two hundred dollars for this depository, and this 
would give us a good one. I drew a constitution, and this 
evening met my people at the academy, without telling 
them what I wanted. The said agent opened the business 
in a tame, unintelligible speech of ten minutes. I followed 
it with a speech of half an hour, for I felt it would not do to 
let it fall through. I pressed the thing very gently, how- 
ever, and proposed my constitution. It took, and in ten 
minutes sixty dollars were subscribed, and they set me to 
nominating officers. Was not this doing up business ? God 
be 2>i"aised for his goodness to us and to my people ! I do 
think such a permanent depository will be a great thing for 
this region." 

An amusing illustration of the medical j^ractice of that 
da}" is furnished in the following extract from a letter from 
Mrs. Todd, dated when the baby was six weeks old : 

"Little Mary seems pretty well, except that I am obliged 
to give her physic often. Last Wednesday evening I gave 
her more than an even tea-spoonful of salts. She has needed 
nothing since. When she does, I think I shall give her an 
emetic. 

"P.S. — Yesterday Doctor Cutter was here, and advised us 
to give Mary a dose of calomel and jalap." 

"A little later. 

"All the medicine that I give her is a little magnesia and 
elixir asthmatic every night. 

" We carried her to meeting when she was seven weeks 
old. She behaved very well indeed — never cried a word 
till we got her out into the entry. I was obliged to carry 
her with what clothes she had ; for there was no dimity to 
be bought, and no socks. Those little stockings which you 
gave me, and a couple of pairs of socks which I knit for her, 
and colored with a little cochineal which I brought from 
home, are all she has had. 



LIFE AT GROTOX, 207 

" From Thursday to Saturday we had Miss Harriet Beech- 
er with us. She seems to be a very pretty girl. She talks 
some of coming to assist hea* brother in the academy. I 
wish she would. I should think she had a taste for school- 
keeping." George Beecher had before this time succeeded 
Elizur Wright as preceptor of the academy. 

" October 26th. 

"To-day I was sent for to visit a sick man in Shirley. He 
is a young, dissipated, wicked creature, had religious par- 
ents, was well instructed, once had strong convictions of 
sin, resisted all, and now has nothing but the most dreadful 
horrors; no softness, no penitence, no hope, nothing but the 
hardness and the horrors of the damned. The neighbors 
came in, and I preached, taking him for my text, and spared 
not. Got home late, and very tired. Hastily drank tea, 
and went off again to my inquiry -meeting. There were 
thirty-six in the number of inquirers, an increase of twelve 
during the past week. A very solemn and very fatiguing 
meeting." The next week there are "forty-nine, and a few 
begin to hope;" the week following, "forty-eight; consider- 
able solemnity; but I have great fears lest we do not have 
a deep revival. The consciences of my people are awak- 
ened, but have not so deep convictions as we could wish. 
Mrs. Todd has got up a female praying-circle, and it prom- 
ises well ; seventeen present at the last meeting. Religion 
seems to be quite popular, and yet I try to deal as faith- 
fully as I can with the heart. But you can not imagine 
how much I have to do." 

" December 23d. 

"I lately preached in Townsend. They are doing well, 
and will have a fine orthodox meeting-house there within a 
year. Day after to-morrow I go to Westford, to assist in 
organizing a church there on orthodox principles. Evan- 
gelical religion is taking hold of this community most won- 
derfully. I have a special quantity of odium to bear, as 
Groton headed the revolution." Eight churches, in as many 
different towns, were among the immediate results of the 
Groton movement. "I am sorry that the Unitarians dislike 
me so extensively. In all this region they consider me a 
fearful foe, and, what is curious, they have an idea that I am 
a most perfect general — a very artful fellow — which certain- 



208 JOHX TODD. 

ly is not true. But God can do his own work with his own 
instruments, and will do so. I suppose a great book-maker 
would consider you and me *as doing nothing — throwing 
away our time, and doing nothing but taking care of a lit- 
tle parish. But the book-maker is the lazy one ; and it is 
easier to write as much as did Chrysostom, than it is to be 
faithful to a little parish. This is our world, and it is big 
enough. To make a folio is a contemptible business com- 
pared to bringing a soul to Christ. The one can be done by 
any one who can sit and plod : the other can be done by no 
one, not even an angel, without the assistance of God's 
Spirit." 



LIFE AT GROT OX. 209 



CHAPTER XV. 

LIFE AT GROTOx — contmucd. 

Boarding. — A crying Child. — A Horse mired. — A new Parish. — Purchase of a 
Horse. — The lame Boy. — Temperance. — A Horse-trade. — A new Vestry. — 
Inks. — The Barrel of Brimstone. — Trip to Philadelphia. — A mighty Con- 
cern. — Yankee Character. — A Revival. — Piety of Ministers. — Morbid Feel- 
ings. — Depression. — An Idol. — The Deist in the Inquiry-meeting.— A won- 
derful Time. — Union of Churches. — A Call refused. 

Early in January, 1829, the family broke up housekeep- 
ing, stored a part of their goods, and went to board at the 
old minister's, where extensive repairs and alterations had 
been made with a view to the reception of boarders. Quite 
a number of circumstances combined to lead them to take 
this step. The owner of the house which they occupied had 
died; and the heirs, wishing to sell, had for some time been 
wishing them to surrender their lease. The expenses of es- 
tablishing and keeping up a home had involved them seri- 
ously in debt, which they hoped to be able to pay oif by liv- 
ing in a more economical manner ; a hope which was so far 
realized that in three months more than half of the debt was 
paid. The cares of an establishment had of late been heavy, 
and Mr. Todd wished for " more time to study." Their go- 
ing to Doctor Chaplin's would secure to the family a num- 
ber of other boarders also, and so be a kindness to them. 
But that which most influenced them was the need of rest 
for Mrs. Todd, in consequence of the care required by her 
little one. Already the parents had a foretaste of the weary 
years of watching, anxiety, and sorrow which this gifted but 
unfortunate child was to cause them. " Mary never has been 
well. She is a most lovely and playful and perfectly amia- 
ble little girl, when free from pain, but this is but a small 
part of the time. She cries more than any child that we 
ever saw. Sometimes there is not an hour in the night that 
we are not disturbed, and do not have to get up to still her. 
"We have asked the advice of four diiferent physicians, but 
nothing that we have ever tried has done any good. We 



210 /OZLY TODD. 

sometimes get quite discouraged, and almost worn out with 
her. Mrs. Todd has noio really more than she ought to do, 
simply in taking care of Mary, though she is teaching French 
and Euclid to a young lady who boards here." 

" March 29th. 

"I seem to be prophesying over a valley of dry bones. 
Besides my own unfaitlifulness, many things have united to 
prevent a revival; such as, (1.) Weather. Our roads have 
been almost impassable, being blocked up with snow. It 
has been next to impossible to go from one part of the town 
to another for a long time. One Sabbath morning I under- 
took to go to Westford to preach, and rode about four miles 
and a half through deep snow, got my horse into a drift, and 
mired \n the snow. It took three men an hour and a half to 
dig him out ! (2.) No good place for meetings. Almost 
every school-house in the town is closed against meetings. 
(3.) Law-suits. Doctor Chaplin's case will be tried proba- 
bly next month ; and the heirs of old Mr. Sawtelle have sued 
for the farms which went to constitute the fund here. The 
ground which they take is, that the will has been violated, 
as these farms were oiever to be sold. The ground of the de- 
fense is, that the spirit of the will has been preserved. How 
and where the quarrel will end we pretend not to say. (4.) 
Forming of parishes. Our people have just gone through 
the difficulties of forming themselves into a new parish. 
The current is so strong in favor of belonging to the First 
Parish, where there are no taxes to pay, while there are 
heavy ones for those who belong to ours, that I at one time 
feared it would sweep all before it. But I believe all is safe 
for the present. The Unitarians have also just issued their 
warrant to form themselves into a new parish. These move- 
ments have probably had a tendency to divert the minds of 
our people from personal religion. But, after all, I feel dis- 
posed to take most of the blame to myself Time flies, and 
I resolve and re-resolve to do more and better, and yet I go 
too much onward in the same old track." 

In the month of April an opportunity occurred to buy an 
old house "within ten rods of the meeting-house." The 
place needed many repairs ; but it was cheap, and its pur- 
chaser needed exercise. And so, boarding having by this 
time become tiresome, he once more established a home of 



LIFE AT GEO TON. 2 1 1 

liis own. "We have a good parlor to shut np — a thing 
indispensable to human happiness — and we have a good 
study, if it could be warmed, a good keeping-room, and a 
good kitchen; and this is all. Our bedrooms, garret, and 
barns are poor things; and if we were to live on earth al- 
ways^ I should feel that we must have a bigger house, and 
more land, and more room within and without." 

Before fairly taking possession, he secured a short vaca- 
tion, and spent it in a visit with his wife at her father's. It 
was the second visit home since their marriage. They drove 
their own horse, Prince, all the way, and were nearly three 
days on the road. "Little Mary was as good a child as 
possible, but the poor little creature was dreadfully wearied 
before w^e reached this place. She sat in my lap, and as- 
sisted me in driving many a long mile, and, on the whole, 
was of great assistance and a great comfort to me." 

On their return from Xewington to Groton, Mr. and Mrs. 
Todd took with them one of her little brothers, who spent 
a whole year with them at this time, and subsequently was 
for many years a member of their family. Joab was at this 
time about fifteen years old, and an object of special care 
and tenderness, from the fact that in him a superior mind 
was united to a poor, frail, crippled body. " In his very in- 
fancy, it was discovered that there was an enlargement of 
an internal organ, which must prevent his ever having good 
health, even if he could live. Xo medical aid could remove 
the difiiculty. Still, he was a sprightly child till about two 
years of age, when he was suddenly smitten with a kind of 
paralysis, which added lameness to feebleness. For a long 
time he could not walk or even sit alone. At seven years 
of age, his father used to carry him to church on the Sab- 
bath in his arms. Then, gradually, he began to get about 
on crutches, a feeble, helpless child, kept alive by the great- 
est care, tenderness, and nursing. When I first saw him he 
was about nine years old, a pale little boy, leaning upon 
his crutches, and in his mildness and meekness looking on 
and enjoying the sports of the other children, which he 
could partake of in no other way. As the years rolled 
away, it became apparent that he was to be a suiFerer, a 
cripple, and an invalid for life. But his eye was already 
bright, and he had already endeared himself to his friends, 



212 JOHX TODD. 

so that the softest light began to fall upon his path, and the 
hand of love was careful that liis pillow should not be the 
hardest. The watchings, the anxieties, the wearisome days 
and nights which witnessed parental love hanging over him 
I shall not describe. And there was a difficult question 
for his parents to solve. Should they tenderly nurse hira, 
watch over him, and keep and prolong mere animal exist- 
ence, or should they put him on a course of education that 
would develop his mental powers, awaken and bring out his 
moral faculties, and thus, as far as they could, fit him for 
God's service, and leave the event to him? Without per- 
haps formally discussing this question in this shape, they 
determined to take the latter course. TThen he was about 
fifteen, he spent a year in my family in Groton. Among 
the studies which he pursued, I put the large Hebrew gram 
mar of Stuart into his hands, and long before the year was 
out, he had not only mastered it, but delighted his father 
by reading, with admirable correctness and ease, whole 
chapters in the Hebrew Bible. This year was the only pe- 
riod of his being from home, or under any teacher except 
his father, previous to his entering college." And thus was 
introduced to Mr. Todd's family one of those many members 
of it whose dependence upon him nerved his strength, and 
whose helplessness and suffering deepened the tenderness of 
his character. 

"June 28th. 

"I preached this afternoon on the progress of the temper- 
ance reformation in our country. Was heard witli atten- 
tion, and, I doubt not, in very many cases with detestation. 
I took the ground on w^hich the subject must stand, and 
struck in the face and eyes of intemperance with all my 
might. I do believe that ardent spii-its will exclude more 
from heaven than all other things put together." 

" November 28th. 

"We have a new horse. It was Mr. Chaplin's trade. 
'Dick' is a bay, seven years old, small, light, beautifully 
formed, arched neck, long tail, small feet, quick as a weasel, 
and as gentle as a dove. I never touch him with the whip, 
and can drive him eight miles an hour without striking him 
or worrying him. The great advantages over Prince are, 
he can be kept much cheaper, is much more nimble, nearly 



LIFE AT GROT OX. 213 

twice as quick, and is the prettiest creature under the sad- 
dle I ever 'backed,' as the jockeys say. He is nothing as 
large or heavy as Prince, and of course can not draw so 
great a load. But I have been very glad and perfectly sat- 
isfied every moment since the exchange was made. I fear 
I set too much by him. 

" Our vestry is finished and dedicated, and is a beautiful 
place. The pulpit is complete, and is trimmed by our ladies 
very richly. I am every way satisfied. The large room 
seats one hundred and seventy, and all together will hold 
three hundred and fifty. We usually have about two hun- 
dred on Sabbath evening. I feel very thankful, as I hope, 
for such a place. We want nothing now but the special 
and powerful presence of God's Spirit." 

" January ISth, 1830. 

"Joab and I have been trying our skill in making some 
new kinds of ink, and I thought you might wish for a speci- 
men, ^ec/, you are familiar with. It snows now quite fast, 
and I have got to go to Shirley, seven miles, to attend a 
funeral ; and so I tell you of it in blue. Mr. Chaplin has 
gone 'below,' to attend the trial of his father's case; and 
because I am very doubtful how it will turn out, I mention 
it in yellow. Our congregation is larger on the Sabbath 
than ever before in the winter. We have a singing-school 
with seventy scholars, and a leader from a neighboring town, 
hired for a year at one dollar a Sabbath, after the school is 
closed. This is a sort oi purple circumstance, that makes all 
sides look cheerful. We have been setting out rock-maples 
in front of our house, and some pretty evergreens in our door- 
yard. We fear they will all die, but they look green now. 

"Day after to-morrow I must be at Rindge, Xew Hamp- 
shire, thirty miles off, to talk on intemperance. All the min- 
isters who are afraid to preach on this subject themselves 
are sure to send for 7?2e, supposing that I have nothing to 
lose ; or, if I have, that my loss is not theirs. 

"Little Mary grows well, and learns to talk fost, and to 
118 is interesting; but oh, what a child! She never wants 
to sleep or to rest. It seems as if we should never have a 
night's rest, or ever be free from headache and fatigue. She 
carries Patty, and tends Patty, and loves Patty as a first- 
born, though she is terribly mutilated and defaced." 



214 JOHX TODD. 

"February 22d. 

"A week ago last Saturday evening, a bitter cold night, I 
was called up in the dead of night to go and see a dying 
woman, but before I got there she was a corpse. It ap- 
peared that in the afternoon (she lived in a room by herself) 
she had drunk freely, and at six o'clock fell into the iire, 
and, before discovered, was awfully burned. All she could 
say was, ' Oh, I'm going into eternity !' Although her 
breath smelled as strong as a brandy cask, she denied liav- 
ing drunk any. In six hours she was a corpse — the most 
shocking -looking object conceivable. A few weeks ago I 
called on her, and warned her most solemnly against this 
sin. All her relatives are either cold Universalists or bitter 
Unitarians. Contrary to my wishes and expectations, I was 
called to attend the funeral. And there was her son, a mer- 
chant in Boston, who not two years before had tried to hire 
a man to bring me up half a barrel of brimstone. Xow he 
met me for the fii'st time, and had to hear me speak over the 
hideous remains of his own mother. What must have been 
his feelings! It will do our temperance cause good. I 
took this opportunity to press the subject one evening, and 
did it in such a manner as to cause Mrs. Todd to quiver. It 
was while the woman lay dead, and too offensive to be seen. 
The next step which we propose to take is, to try to get our 
church to make the use of ardent spirits by any member a 
subject of discipline. If we can carrj^ this point, it will greatly 
add to our strength." The point was subsequently carried. 

"March 29th. 

"The Unitarians here are quite humble. They have com- 
promised with Doctor Chaplin's family by giving fifteen 
hundred dollars, and paying the costs, which will be at least 
four hundred dollars more. It is a sore pill for the Unita- 
rians, but they see they must take it. The Universalists — 
for fully half who have sailed under Unitarian colors are in 
fact Universalists — have moved somewhat, and talked of 
forming a society and building a meeting-house. I think 
they will probably not do either. Just for the present time 
it would be well to have them drawn out by themselves, 
and I could wish it; but in the long run I should deprecate 
having such a cage built. The fowl that would flock to it 
out of the Unitarians would be unclean indeed." 



LIFE AT GROTOX. 215 

In May Mr. Todd went down to New York (leaving his 
family in Newington on the way), to attend the anniver- 
saries, and make a speech at one of them. " I will not say 
how good my speech was, but believe that it was thought 
to contain too much jt?e/9/)en It was heard. I was delighted 
to see that the different denominations of Christians were 
brought together with the utmost harmony of feeling, and 
seemed to love one another the more for their little differ- 
ences." From New York he made a hurried trip to Phila- 
delphia, his "great object being to become acquainted with 
the Sabbath-school system as it is understood by those who 
manage its great concerns. This I have done. The man- 
agers of the American Sunday-school Union showed me every 
thing, from the clerks' books up to their publishing commit- 
tee's manner of doing business. It is a mighty concern." 

"May 21st. 

"I am once more in ISTewington, having hurried away 
and around and back again. Whatever I have seen done, 
whether in religion or any thing else, the Yankees are the 
doers thereof I had no idea that you would find them 
everywhere, and in every kind of employment. If you find 
an intelligent man, he may be a Yorker; but if you find one 
intelligent and liberal too, he is a Yankee. I have never 
been so much delighted with Yankee character and Yankee 
energy as since I left home, and never felt so proud as at 
this time that I am a descendant from the Pilgrims." 

In June the " General Association " held its annual meet- 
ing in Groton ; and immediately after it, and perhaps in con- 
sequence of it, followed an important revival. 

"July 5th. 

"Last evening, after being exhausted by the labors of the 
Sabbath, I attended an inquiry-meeting, the church holding 
a prayer-meeting in the opposite room. Eighteen in the in- 
quiry-room. I had requested that none be urged to attend, 
and that none come who did not feel interested for their sal- 
vation. A few were joyful ; some awfully bowed down ; oth- 
ers solemn, though not under deep conviction. The prayer- 
meeting was full and solemn. Mr. Chaplin, who conducted 
it, seemed overwhelmed; I never saw him appear so much 
affected. If there is any one thing that looks more encoura- 
ging than another, it is that the church are deeply solemn." 



216 JOHX TODD. 

" July 12th. 

"Twenty-seven in the inquiry-room. I never saw meet- 
ings, countenances, every thing, so solemn as they are in this 
town now. There seems to be no excitement, no joy, not 
even in the church, but a certain awful sense of the presence 
of God. I am glad to find that the people seem to put un- 
reserved confidence in me, perhaps too much. They almost 
think they can be saved by their minister. I have conversed 
with over sixty people within four days on the subject of 
personal religion. It is the only subject on which I con- 
verse at all." 

"July 13th. 

"I do not know as I ever had the great subject of relig- 
ion so fully and constantly before me as for the week past, 
and am sure I never had such clear views of the way of 
salvation through Christ. I have been reading to-day the 
life of Doctor West, who entered the ministry without piety, 
but was afterward converted; and I thmk I would rejoice 
if I could now be led through convictions equally deep and 
awful. Oh, how I do pity those in the ministry ! They 
have none to sympathize with them, can not open an aching 
heart to any one, for they are above all, and all feel that they 
are above sympathy, or fears, or dangers. I more and more 
fear for the piety of ministers, and never felt it so deeply as 
within a few weeks. In looking at my own case, I find that 
I have many of the fears of the Christian, many of his temp- 
tations, little or none of his contrition, and none of his joys. 
Xever did I enjoy less of the consolations of the presence of 
God than at this moment, when sinners are inquiring, some 
are rejoicing, and God's people are filled with joy. If I can 
weep in secret, I fear it is nothing but nervous depression, 
not sorrow for sin; if I rejoice in public at what God is do- 
ing, I fear it is nothing but professional sympathy. I have 
no time for study, and all I read is a little in the Bible and 
in Payson's Memoirs : the former would be degraded by my 
commendations ; the latter gives me more satisfaction than 
any uninspired book I ever read. To me it is valuable beyond 
all price; the reason is, I have just his weaknesses without any 
thing of his piety or any thing of his talents ; so that I can 
sympathize with him when he is under the cloud, but my eyes 
can not bear such sunshine as sometimes falls upon him." 



LIFE AT G BOTOX. 217 

Keen observers of human character will detect here a 
strain of morbid feeling suspiciously like one of the results 
of ill-health. In fact, he was very far from well. His long 
and uninterrupted studies and exciting labors had seriously 
and permanently disturbed his nervous system. It was 
sometimes thought that the pulmonary disease which had 
so nearly taken his life in college had assumed another form. 
On the other hand, it was thought by himself and others that 
his enemy was the dyspepsia, and accordingly he resorted, 
for years, to severe courses of medicine and diet, which un- 
questionably aggravated rather than relieved his distress. 
Those who were not intimately acquainted with him, who 
saw his strong frame and hardy appearance and the amount 
of work which he performed, will probably be surprised to 
learn that he was never well, that he was a great sufferer, 
mentally and physically, and that he was almost always on 
some course of diet, medicine, or exercise, in the vain hope 
of recovering health; and those who read his remarkably 
healthy and cheery writings, and those who witnessed the 
humor and fun which overflowed in his social life, will prob- 
ably be still more surprised to learn that, all his life, he was 
subject to frequent and long-continued turns of depression 
of spirits and mental suffering of the deepest and darkest 
character, and that much of his writing was done under 
these shadows. "My spirits have been very unusually de- 
pressed, and I have felt all the horrors of those whose trou- 
bles are something more than imaginary. Among the suffer- 
ers in this sad world, I believe that poor Cowper may take a 
foremost place. I know you will find fault with me for my 
hours of depression ; but if you could experience one such 
hour, you would only pity and weep. Xo language can de- 
scribe it." He seldom allowed these turns of depression or 
their effects to be seen in his writings or public life; but his 
family were familiar with them, and their letters from him 
were almost uniformly sad. Probably mental suffering is 
almost inevitable for those whose mental organization is so 
delicate, whose feelings are so finely-strung, and in whom the 
imaginative and j^oetic is so exquisitely and excessively de- 
veloped. 

The revival went on. "The Unitarians know something 
of the state of religion among my people, and it makes them 



218 JOHX TODD. 

exceedingly angry. My people seeiu most devotedly at- 
tached to me, and this makes the Unitarians very much 
vexed. They say there was never any idol on earth so 
much worshiped as Mr. Todd. I think they are very much 
mistaken. My j^eople have confidence in me and respect 
me, but I have kept them too distant to expect they can 
love me as a friend. I have no doubt this is one secret of 
my influence. 

"A week ago last evening I found a young man, a Uni- 
versalist, or deist, in my inquiry-meeting. He came out of 
curiosity, with a view to make sport of it. I asked him if 
he was a Christian? 'No.' Ever thought of it as a per- 
sonal concern ? ' No.' Live without Christ, and hope, and 
God ? ' Yes.' During the whole evening there was a sar- 
donic smile upon his countenance. At the close of the meet- 
ing I said, aloud, 'AH seem to be under the direct influence 
of the Spirit of God, except one."^ There was a pause. I 
added, ' There is one young man who came out of curiosity, 
or to make sport, who confesses that he has nothing to do 
with God.' I then bore down upon him openly, fully, and 
with all my power. The malignity of hell seemed to sit 
upon his countenance. It was a harsh medicine to use, but 
I felt that no other would do any good ; and I thought it 
best to make an example of such characters, lest others 
should come. Last evening he was there again ! His coun- 
tenance changed, sober, grave, solemn ; and the Spirit of 
God seems to have touched his heart in some measure. I 
don't know as he will be converted, but he is in God's hands. 
The change already produced is very wonderful." 

In writing to his father-in-law, to beg him to come and 
help him for a few weeks, he says (August 28th), " We want 
efiicient help amazingly, and never did labor produce so 
much effect as now. One hundred and four different persons 
have attended the inquiry - meetings ; of these about forty 
have a hope that they 'have passed from death unto life.' 
It is all most evidently the work of God, and yet it moves 
forward only in exact pfoportion to severe .^faithful labor. It 
does seem to me as if there might be a powerful work here, 
if we had help. Never was the contest between sin and 
holiness so great in this town as at the present time. God 
is shaking terribly the land." His application was success- 



LIFE AT GROTOK 219 

ful, and for about three weeks he enjoyed the assistance of 
Mr. Brace. 

"October 3d. 

"At the meeting of the church last Monday evening the 
subject of the union of the two churches was brought up, 
and it at once kindled a fire. There were two reasons for 
it — pride, and love of rum. Many of the old church can not 
bear to have it become extinct, or, rather, they can not tliink 
of coming down to a new church. 'It is like a general's 
being reduced to the ranks,' say they. But many more hate 
our rules about rum, and so the churches will not at present 
be united. A good deal of warmth and temper w^as shown, 
and some most severe remarks made. I thought, when I 
came home, that the revival was at an end; for it could not 
be but such a spirit would grieve the Spirit of God." 

" October 2oth. 

"AYe have had bad times. During the last week several 
applied to the old church for dismission, and a vote was 
passed that any might come (to the new church) who wish- 
ed ; but this vote only increased the difficulty, till it seemed 
as if there would be bursting somewhere. I only lamented 
the ruin of the prospect for a revival of religion, as I felt 
perfectly convinced that the revival was at an end for the 
present. At length the tide ran so high that it seemed 
ready to sweep away every thing. But the wind is shift- 
ing, and I trust the storm is over. I called the Union Church 
together, and they passed a vote giving the old church a 
kind invitation to unite with them. To-day I met the old 
church at Doctor Chaplin's, and communicated the invita- 
tion. They unanimously accepted it, and are to sign our 
articles of faith, covenant, and rules, without altering them 
a hair in any way. We are to have a religious meeting at 
Doctor Chaplin's some time next week, when the union is to 
be consummated by their signing our book. They were per- 
fectly harmonious, except on the subject of total abstinence. 
How t-hat will turn I do not know ; but I am expecting a 
few will stand out and not come in. They will have to 
stand so ; and where will they belong ? Nowhere. We 
shall cut them off from our communion, if they need it. I 
do trust that in the course of next week this disagreeable 
business will be over." Thus was accomplished at last the 



220 JOHN TODD. 

event in anticipation of which the name Union Church had 
been selected. 

The pastor was right, however, in his expectation that the 
controversy attending tlie event would kill the revival. For 
some time the congregation on the Sabbath continued to be 
"unusually large and solemn;" but "the inquiry-meeting 
had lamentation and woe written upon its walls." During 
the revival one hundred and fifty-eight persons attended the 
inquiry-meetings of whom fifty-two joined the church before 
the close of the year. "I do not know how many more will 
be admitted. Many would like to come in, for it is thought 
to be respectable ; but there is more danger of having the 
church too large than of its being too small. The Unitari- 
ans have made very great exertions to get their congrega- 
tion into the church, and, after all their efforts and open 
doors, their church now consists of about sixty, old and 
young, male and female. I do not know how they account 
for it that their system does not work faster. Never did 
Satan invent any thing so poorly calculated to enlist the 
feelings of mankind as this same system of Unitarianism." 

" November oOth. 

"At Lowell they are organizing a new Congregational 
church, and building a new stone meeting-house. A secret 
committee did me the honor to call on me to inquire if they 
could have any hope of getting me to become their pastor, 
if they should give me a call, with the oflfer of one thousand 
dollars salary. You will readily suppose I did not listen a 
moment to the proposal. Not that I suppose we shall al- 
Avays live in Groton, should we live long ; but the indica- 
tions of Providence must be plainer than this to induce me 
to take the risk. It would be a very great risk for me, and 
equally great for this people at present. I sometimes — nay, 
often — think our stay here will be short; but that will be as 
God shall direct." 



LIFE AT G EOT OX. 221 



CHAPTER XYI. 

LIFE AT GKOTox — continuecl. 

The new Cloak. — A kindred Spirit. — Another Arrival. — Antimasonry. — 
Death of Doctor Chaplin. — Death of Mr. Evarts. — A second Hamlet. — A 
four-days' Meeting.— The House divided.— Bochim.— The last Day of the 
Feast. — Powerful Medicine. — The Bowling-alley. — Early Meetings. — 
Alone.— The black Kitten.— The lost Puppy.— Homesick.— Hard Work. 
—Milk Diet.— Sick.- Meeting at Sodom.— A Journey.— The Poles.- The 
Slaves.— One Foot in the Stirrup.— Basted together. — Poor Tea.— A Prov- 
idential Dispensation. — Stormy Times. — Death of a Sister. — Called to Sa- 
lem.— A handsome Grave.— Council.— Dismission refused.— Broken up.— 
Another Call. — Farewell to Groton. 

"January 7th, 1831. 
"Mes. Todd, instead of putting me up to get a tidy goat's 
hair wrapper, with waddings etc., has turned my old college 
plaid cloak, taken out one lining, cut up my old fur cap for 
a collar, and then persuaded me that it is warmer for hav- 
ing lost one lining, and, as to looks, is really superior to any 
thing that can be purchased. Should you doubt it, I can 
probably send you a certificate. I get it on, rub my cheeks 
against the fur, imagine that it is new, and prove its warmth 
by shivering in every limb. The Biblical Hepository has 
just come to hand. It is most beautifully printed, and has 
far more show of learning than any thing that I have seen 
this side of the water — except Catharine Beecher." 

"February 22d. 

" Mr. , of Fitchburg, will probably be dismissed shortly. 

His crime is, not having talents great enough for that peo- 
ple ! May he be forgiven. Last week I was made sick by 
the ordination at Townsend. The young man's name is Kit- 
tle, and he promises well. He certainly is a man of talents." 
With Mr. Kittle Mr. Todd became quite intimate. For a 
long time he had been almost deprived of ministerial so- 
ciety, the nearest pastors with whom he could fi-aternize liv- 
ing fourteen or fifteen miles away, and he took great pleas- 
ure in having a man of kindred tastes and spirit so near 
him. Of his friend's abilities and indolence he entertained 
a high opinion. " Kittle would often ride over to see me, 

15 



222 JOHN TODD. 

and we would sit down in my study, and take a text, and 
plan out a sermon together, and I would dig over it the 
whole week; while he would stick the paper in his hat, 
and never look at it again till he got into the pulpit on Sab- 
bath morning." To please an uncle, Mr. Kittle subsequently 
changed his name to Rogers. He afterward became the first 
minister of the Central Church in Winter Street, Boston. 

"April 5th. 

"Little Martha was born on Friday — fat as a partridge, 
and perfectly quiet. I do not deny that my disappointment 
was great in not having a son ; but when we have so per- 
fect and beautiful a child given us, I feel that we have no 
right to complain. I trust we feel something of the good- 
ness of God in this event, which so far has been most mer- 
ciful. 

"There are many things about my people which are very 
discouraging. The whole town is in a convulsion, and where 
it will end I see not. The subject of autimasonry is excit- 
ing great attention. A lecture is to be delivered on the 
subject this evening, and the prospect is that the community 
will be very greatly excited. I feel more and more that 
this is a changing and passing world, but fear I am not try- 
ing to prepare for a better." 

"April 27tb. 
"Last Sabbath afternoon I preached the funeral sermon 
of Doctor Chaplin to a very full house. He was a father to 
me, and I loved and honored him as a son. I never heard 
him, during all his trials, make use of any angry expressions, 
or make a severe remark against any man, or evince the 
least bitterness of feeling. It seemed hardly ])Ossible for im- 
perfect human nature to pass through what he did, and yet 
so uniformly and so clearly reflect the image of Christ. I 
do not believe he knew what it was to feel enmity against 
any human being, or that, for years before his death, he had 
a personal enemy. His last sickness was severe and trying, 
but he bore it in meekness. As death approached, there 
were no raptures, no high excitements, nor M^ere there any 
fears. He went down the valley of death as the full sun of 
autumn sets when not a cloud dims its brightness. He had 
been so often on the mount, and had so often seen eternal 
things, that when the king of terrors came, he found the 



LIFE AT GROT OX. 223 

pilgrim ready. It was not so mncli like dyings as like the 
sweet confidence of the infant falling asleep in the arms of 
its mother. Many men have been more noticed in life, and, 
perhaps, longer remembered after death ; but iev^^, it is be- 
lieved, have found a nearer passage to the bosom of the Ee- 
deemer, or will wear a brighter crown in the day of his ap- 
pearing." 

"May 31st. 
"I went to Boston to attend the election. It rained 
most of the time in torrents, and I got jaded out. The 
pulse of religion in Boston is very high. All that I did 
was to make an extempore address before the Massachu- 
setts Missionary Society, and to mourn, with all the rest, 
over the loss of Mr. Evarts. I never before knew any such 
effect produced by the fall of a man in Israel as there was 
in Boston by the tidings of his death, and I verily believe 
his thus falling in the greatness of his strength will give a 
greater impulse to the cause of Christ than his living twen- 
ty years would have done. Mysterious providence ! He 
died in the very chamber (in Charleston, South Carolina) in 
which, in 1820, Z was confined for months by sickness. He 
fell, too, just after having made his greatest efiTorts ; as if 
the sun should sink suddenly away, after having just thrown 
up his most golden beams. I think I have seldom contem- 
plated a death by which heaven seemed to be brought so 
near. Oh, how few have ever come so near rising above the 
effects of the fall, and so near serving God with the ardor 
of a seraph and the purity of an angel ! His family are 
cheerful and happy. It seems like the same cheerful home, 
and, while there, I seemed to forget the event ; but the mo- 
ment I cast ray eye upon the very natural portrait on the 
wall, I could not keep the tears from my eyes. It did not 
seem as if a body which had been occupied by such a spirit 
ought to return to the dust. But I know it must. He was 
the son of my father's favorite sister. I need not eulogize; 
the tears of thousands put the eloquence of words to shame. 

"I have never had so large a congregation as this season, 
and never has my society been so prosperous externally ; but 
icithin^ all is dark and discouraging. I can look over the 
garden, see what wants to be done, form great and good 
plans, but, alas ! have not life enough and soul enough to ex- 



224 JOHN- TODD. 

ecute them. I seem to be like j^oung Hamlet, when a spirit 
from the other world was continually haunting him and 
urging him to great deeds, and he resolved that he would 
do them ; the only weak spot in him was, that he had not 
strength enough, manhood enough,- to carry out his resolu- 
tions. I do not know what is to become of us, if God does 
not shortly visit minister and people. Next week we are 
to have a four days' meeting begin; and I pray God for 
a preparation. I have some — many hopes, and many fears. 
There Vive five such meetings in this region, commencing on 
the same day." 

The four days' meeting began on Tuesday, June Vth. By 
way of preparation, the pastor appointed a prayer-meeting 
on Monday morning at five o'clock, expecting six or eight 
persons, "but was delightfully surprised to find fully fifty." 
There was also a meeting of the church in the afternoon, 
" full and encouraging." The order of exercises was the 
same for each of the four da3^s. At five o'clock in the morn- 
ing there were as many prayer-meetings as there had been 
meetings on the previous evening. The first morning there 
was one meeting; the second, one; the third, eight; the 
fourth, ten, in as many different school -houses. At nine 
o'clock the ministers met to arrange plans for the day, and 
then and at a later hour had a season of prayer by them- 
selves. These ministers gathered from the region about, on 
the first day, to the number of six; the third day, there were 
twelve ; the last day, there were eighteen. In the forenoon 
there was preaching, followed by addresses. In the after- 
noon there were addresses and prayers. In the evening, 
preaching in as many different places as there were jireachers. 

"June 8tli. 

" One day is gone. The life-boat has been with us one 
day. Last evening I attended a meeting at the academy; 
at least one hundred and fifty present, the other six meet- 
ings notwithstanding; a very solemn, good meeting; many 
present of those who seldom hear the truth. Those who 
were sitting at the doors of dram-shops and stores looked 
cross enough, as we went by to go to meeting." 

" June 9th. 

"At the close of the services to-day, the audience was di- 
vided, the Christians taking the wall-pews, and the uncon- 



LIFE AT G MOT OX. 225 

verted the body of the house. It was solemn indeed. The 
Christians, each way from the pulpit, tilled the wall-pews, 
and nearly the aisles, and there were as many as three hun- 
dred and fifty unconverted in the centre. After this di- 
vision, they were addressed by Mr. Chickering and myself. 
It seemed like the grave for solemnity, and like Bochim for 
tears; altogether the most solemn time I ever witnessed. 
The unconverted were by themselves, and the professors of 
religion were all around them, like a thick wall, and were 
weeping for and over them. The ministers of Christ were 
praying and weeping too. It was a time in which the souls 
of men were melted." 

"JunelOth. 
"This is the last, great day of the feast, and so anxious a 
time I never knew before. The ministers came together at 
noon, and I never saw men so Aveighed down. Worn out 
witii labor and sleepless nights, they seemed to sink under 
the thoughts of the afternoon. All came around the table, 
but ate scarcely a mouthful. All seemed to breathe short 
and quick. All felt as if the most powerful medicine had 
been given, and we were soon to know the result. Much 
weeping and praying. The house, this afternoon, was full. 
Between thirty and forty notes were read of those who de- 
sired prayers, and truly they were the sorrows of many 
hearts. Oh, if our Redeemer be not divine, how useless to 
spread all these sorrows before his throne ! During the 
farewell address, God seemed indeed to be present. Xear 
the close of it, I called upon the impenitent who had deter- 
mined to make religion their chief concern, to rise. Over 
one hundred and fifty arose and stood. I then called upon 
those who were professors of religion to rise, if they would 
pray for them; almost all in the house rose. I then inquired 
what would become of those who continued to sit. Where 
will 'they go? Heaven and earth are witness that they de- 
liberately chose to keep their seats and deny Christ. While 
they were thus standing, the Christians and the anxious, I 
called for the judgment hymn, 

' Oh there will be mournins: 

Before the judgment-seat,' etc. 

It was sung slowly and solemnly, and its efiects were aw- 



226 JOHN TODD. 

fully great. Several who held to their seats rose up; they 
could sit no longer. Among those who rose were some 
w^hom we never exjoected to see softened in the least. In 
all our efforts we have tried to lead the people to be solemn.^ 
rather than to cause high excitement. 

" The meeting has done little to the Unitarians, except 
enrage them. They have attended our services but very 
little. They talk, and swear, and hate. On the second day, 
the Unitarian minister was found at a bowling-alley, setting 
up pins while the party were lolling. On the third day, he 

and some such men as , and some most profane ones, 

got up a riding party, and went over to Pepperell. Some 
forbade their waives and children to attend any meetings. 
A husband forbade his wife to attend the meetings in the 
school-house near which they lived. She would get to her 
chamber-window, and open it, and listen, and weep, because 
she could hear only the sound of the voice without distin- 
guishing the words. But it is wonderful that God has so 
changed public sentiment that we could have ten meetings 
in ten school-houses at once, and could have had the whole 
fourteen houses, if we had had the men to occupy them." 

"June 29th. 

"At our first inquiry-meeting after the above there were 
nearly thirty present. The number has since increased to 
forty, and some have obtained hope. We have prayer- 
meetings every morning at lialf-past four o'clock: a good 
state of feeling in the church." 

"Later. 

"I have attended many of these meetings, have seen them 
under all circumstances, and, on the whole, am at a dead 
loss to say whether I think the good or the evil of them 
preponderates. I might fill sheets on this point, for it is one 
that has cost me much anxiety. That good, much good, 
has resulted from them, I do not doubt : that enormous evils 
are almost inseparably connected with them, I believe quite 
as firmly." 

In July, Mrs. Jodd, wnth the two children, went home to 
her father's to make a visit and obtain needed rest, leaving 
Mr. Todd to occupy the house alone, except for the hired 
boy, and to take his meals wath the Chaplins. His four 
years of domestic happiness, after the long solitude of liis 



1 



LIFE AT O ROT ON. 227 

^arly life, had so eiiJeared liis family to liiiii, that he keenly 
felt his seijaratioii from them, and his loneliness. 

" I am now in my study, looking out of ray window to- 
ward you, and seeing the new moon with a little star beside 
it, and am wondering where you are, if you are sick, if you 
are tired, if the children are sick, if you feel good couraoe. 
Father writes as though he expected you would come, and 
as if I should make nothing of having you gone — several 
mouths,! should think, by his account. Have you thought 
of lonely me? I am truly so. But your plants are here, 
and I have watered them; and the kitten is gleesome ; the 
evening air is sweet; the heavens are beautiful to the eye; 
and all far, far above them, is beautiful to the eye of faith. 
To Him who dwells far above these bright stars, I commend 
you. 

" I have had a truly lonely evening. eTust at night it be- 
gan to rain, and there has been a wet easterly storm all the 
evening. In whatever part of the house I am, I hear the 
same dripping and pattering. You know how gloomy our 
well-room is at such a time, even when the family are all 
here. How^ different is your situation from mine ! I sup- 
l^ose to-night you are surrounded by all the great family, 
and all is light and cheerful. But when I move around, 
how many things tell me I am alone ? The rooms are dark- 
ened. I go into the bedroom, and there is Mary's ' little 
summer-bed ;' I go into the other bedroom, and there lies 
your bonnet on the bed, and little Martha's cradle by the 
side of it. I go out-of-doors, and there is Mary's wagon, 
with no little prattler by it. Every step and turn brings 
you all fresh to my memory. May every mercy be upon 
you, and about you." 

"Little Mart, — Your little black kitten goes with me 
out to the barn, into the garden, into the workshop, and fol- 
lows me all around, because she is so lonely. She wants to 
see you. Yesterday she went out to the barn with me, and, 
as I was at work, I heard something squeal. So I turned 
around, and your little kitten had caught a rat ! and the rat 
was squealing, and trying to get away, and trying to bite 
her; but she held him fast, and would not let him go. And 
then she carried him out-of-doors and let him run, and then 



228 JOHX TOBD. 

would jump and catch him. She eats milk, and grows finely. 
The pig grows too, only he thinks it too hot. Father is all 
alone, and wants his little girl to help him. So you must 
be a good little girl, and take good care of mother and little 
Martha, till you are ready to come home. Tell all of them 
that father sends his love. Good-bye." 

" My dear little Mart, — Father must tell you about the 
little pnppy. Last Wednesday night Deacon Adams heard 
something trotting in the meeting-house. So, after dark, 
Allen and Mr. Farley took the key, and went and opened 
the meeting-house door and whistled, and down came a lit- 
tle puppy out of the galler}^ He was almost starved, and 
jumped and capered about, and was so glad to get out! 
The poor fellow had had nothing to eat since Sabbath, and 
this was three days and three nights. Don't you think he 
was very hungry? So they took him into the store, and 
gave him some crackers to eat. Poor fellow ! he had no- 
body to take good care of him, as my little girl has. So 
you must be good, and don't forget your father at Groton. 
Good-bye. Kiss little Martha for me." 

" You do not mention the subject of ever seeing Groton 
again ; but father does, and in such a way that I should con- 
clude that he expected you to stay at least six months. I 
certainly shall be ready to make any self-denial, if it may 
benefit your health ; but in making your estimates upon the 
whole subject, I presume you will not forget that I am here 
in a loneliness almost beyond description. Nobody has 
called, and I have felt so down that I have called on nobody. 
The silence in the house is dreadful. The clock ticks so 
loud, that I sometimes think of stopping it." 

Undoubtedly these feelings were greatly aggravated by 
the state of his health. The intense excitement in which he 
had now lived for years had worn upon his nervous system 
terribly. But, mistaking the nature of the difiiculty, he put 
himself upon a rigorous and insuflScient diet, and, neglecting 
every thing else, devoted himself to severe manual labor, 
with an energy wliich soon exhausted what little nervous 
strength he had left. 

"I have been at work all day. This morning I pitched 



LIFE AT GROTOX. 229 

off ray load of hay, and then worked in the shop; this after- 
noon I helped Mr. Chaplin ; I pitched three loads on the 
cart, and one off. Both of my hands are blistered, and ray 
wrists lame. 

"After dinner I went down into the corn-field, and hoed 
till it was done. It took us most of the afternoon, and was 
very hard. I have but one feelings and that is, excessive 
fatigue and low spirits. All my bones ache; but I feel de- 
termined to keep on with hard work, from sun to sun, till 
the experiment has been fairly made. 

"I have eaten milk every night and morning since you 
left. At present it neither suits me, nor do I love it. But 
I must do something. I have worked hard every day, either 
on land or in the shop. I do not feel that I am any bet- 
ter as yet. Never did any man need to have more horri- 
ble nights than I do. I either do not sleep, or, if I do, my 
dreams are painful and terrific beyond all description. 

" I have not much opinion of dieting, though I have tried 
it most faithfully, and it seems as if I should die under it. As 
yet I have not relaxed an iota. I have made up my mind not 
to alter for a month from the time I coraraenced." 

At last he was taken down with violent chills and pains, 
and every symptom of a fever. In this condition a friend 
"happened to espy" him, and medical attendance and care- 
ful nursing were at once obtained for him. A severe course 
of medicine broke up the fever, but his physician urged him 
to take a few weeks of rest immediately ; his nervous sys- 
tem was in a bad condition. 

"August 7th. 

" This afternoon I crawled out and tried to preach, extem- 
pore. When about two-thirds through, my lungs seemed 
to fail, so that I could hardly speak aloud. The last third 
of the sermon was like drawing a sleigh on bare ground. 
However, the people, by their looks, forgave all. After meet- 
ing I had to go up to Sodom to preach. It seemed wrong, 
but there was no help for it. It was a terrible time : meet- 
ing full : some drunk, some swearing, some talking, some 
pushing, sorae trying to keep order, and some weeping. 
There evidently is some seriousness there, else would not the 
devil come down with such wrath. I don't suppose a third 
of what I said was heard, for the noise." 



230 JOHN TODD. 

He was dow convinced that a short rest was indispensa- 
ble. "I feel bad to be cut off from my work when I have 
over sixty inquirers, but ccm not do any good as I am." Aft- 
er considering many plans, and rejecting them as too expen- 
sive, he determined to drive to Connecticut with a pair of 
horses, and bring back his family. The journey was a pleas- 
ant one, and he returned, after two or three weeks, not re- 
stored, and with " very little elasticity," but much better. 

" November 1st. 

"The lawsuit has been decided in favor of this town; so 
that Unitarianism will quietly settle down on these funds, 
till God shall overturn it in his own wise way. 

" I am in distress for the Poles. Poor fellows ! their fate 
seems to be sealed ; and, after having waded long in blood, 
they are to be crushed. God speed the day when the foot 
of tyranny will not tread on the necks of the brave ! I am 
in distress, too, for our two millions of slaves, who are made 
cattle of, and yet who, if they lift the head at all, are butch- 
ered in a moment. Poor missionaries, too, in Georgia State- 
prison ! When loUl the river of salvation quench the fires 
of persecution ? And at what point will our country stop 
in its career of wickedness ? I have a heart full of fears and 
griefs caused by looking at the world. But, poor worm ! 
there is One above who holds the hearts of all, and who is 
calmly carrying on his own j^lans, while I, poor short-sighted 
creature, am worrying and wondering where these things 
will end. I feel like Mary, see that they have taken him 
away, and wonder where they have laid him, while at the 
very moment he is risen, and holding the keys of death and 
hell in his hand." 

About this time the peace qf the community was disturb- 
ed by the antimasonic excitement, which mixed itself with 
politics. 

"December 4th. 

" The church is full of jealousies and coldness, and it seems 
as if Satan had come down, and was setting all by the ears. 
Every man's hand is against his brother's, and we are in a 
most deplorable condition. As yet the storm has not reach- 
ed us^ but I am expecting every day that it will. I stand 
with one foot in the stirrup, ready to mount at a moment's 
notice. As yet I do not know that we have been blamed 



LIFE AT GROTOX. 231 

by either party much, though the antimasons probably feel 
that we are too cool. You can readily see that if such a 
whirlwind should take a minister, it would lift him high and 
dry. We borrow no trouble on this score. The women are 
partisans, and talk (for a rarity) as fast and as rashly as 
could be desired. I need not say there is but little religion 
among us. The Holy Spirit does not live in storms." 

The explanation which Doctor Todd used to give of the 
restlessness and tendency to extremes which were developed 
in his Groton church w^as, that the excitement of the strug- 
gle with Unitarianism, without which the separation from 
the old church could never have been accomplished, caused 
a high-pressure condition of mind in the people which could 
not at once subside. . After a few years all wildness and dis- 
order disappeared, and the church became as steady and so- 
ber and substantial as any in the State. 

"December 27th. 

"Last week w^e dedicated a new meeting-house in D , 

and ordained a new minister. What he is, there is no say- 
ing. He was a Princeton theological student, not very clear 
in his views and ideas. Some men are sewed, and others are 
only basted together. 

" I have the honor to be addressed by name frequently in 
long letters in the Trumpet (Universalist) at Boston. Of 
course I take no notice of such attacks. They are bitter 
enough here. At one of the meetings in a distant neighbor- 
hood they put potato-tops before my horse, with a bottle of 
whisky emptied upon them. And one man has a pig which 
he has named after me. He calls, ' Todd, Todd,' and the pig 
knows his name. It is altogether the likeliest member of his 
family. 

" The tea which I procured in Hartford proves poor, that 
is, you can't make good tea of it without putting some of it 
into the pot ; but put in a reasonable quantity, and it is de- 
licious." 

"January 29th, 1832. 

"To-day a committee of our church reported in favor of 
electing deacons, an office which we have never had in our 
church. Xext Saturday is to be spent in prayer and fast- 
ing, and the election is to take place at three o'clock. I can 
not now say who is likely to be elected. It is a matter of 



232 JOHX TODD. 

some considerable consequence, and one which I have been 
dreading for several years. Four is the number fixed upon. 
Vshj four ? Because sometimes a drink which is injurious, 
or in danger of being so, may be made perfectly harmless by 
diluting.'''' Many years afterward, when asked by some one 
how^ he went to work in electing deacons, he replied, "Always 
with the greatest reluctance." At another time he wrote: 
" I don't believe I should like the rotation of deacons ; for, 
if it is equally Scriptural, it seems to me it would bring the 
evil and anxiety upon us certainly and periodically, whereas 
now we go through it as a proviidenUal d'lspensat'iony 

" February 12th. 

" Our church is in a dreadful state, and there seems to be 
a fair prospect that it will be rent through and through. In 
the first place, there is the masonic question ; and then there 

is the aflair; and then a great deal of hard feeling of 

one against another, which has been growing a great while; 
and that 'little member' is as busy as a bee, as sharp as a 
dirk, and as poisonous as an asp. I have felt for the last 
two months that if I should not stay here a month longer, it 
would not be a matter of surprise. I don't know that our 
people dislike us for any thing, excepting that, when there 
are two parties, you are blamed by both for not hoisting col- 
ors, and the most by the most violent. I used to repeat the 
words, * Oh, that I had the wings of a dove,' etc., till I met 
with an old writer who said, 'David would have shown a 
better spirit had he prayed for the patience and strength 
of an ox to bear his troubles, instead of the wings of a dove 
to fly away from them.' " 

"March 23d. 

"To-day I received a letter containing the unexpected 
news that my sister Mary is gone. She lived at Georgia, 
Vermont, and was unquestionably the flower of my family. 
She lived and died as a Christian; and, though I never saw 
her but once in my life, few brothers ever loved a sister more 
tenderly. I had set my heart greatly upon seeing her the 
coming season." ♦ 

"March 24th. 

" I have spent all the morning in writing a sermon suited 
to my feelings on the death of my sister. I have seldom, if 
ever, 2)erformed a task so trying as the writing of this ser- 



LIFE AT GROTOK 233 

mon. This death has seemed to bring eternity nearer to me 
than any event for many years." 

"May 14th. 

"You will remember that neither of iis has any parents 
but you, and no }3lace to rest the heart in on earth but in 
your family. If I had parents and friends with whom to 
centre a part of the Sowings of the heart, it would be differ- 
ent. But I have not ; I have unreservedly given you all 
that affection and love wdiich would in part, necessarily, 
have gone to my own parents, if God had seen fit to spare 
them to me. I have no doubt that you have been aware of 
this, in part ; but none of you has ever known what desola- 
tion of the heart means, as I have known ; and it would be 
a great source of sorrow to me if I did not suppose you Avere 
willing to receive from me the affection of an own child." 

In the month of June, a unanimous and urgent call was 
received by Mr. Todd, from the Howard Sti-eet Church, in 
Salem. The invitation was one which he felt strongly in- 
clined to accept. The tempestuous and unsettled state of 
public feeling about him made him long. for a more peaceful 
and hopeful field of labor; and Salem was then "the second 
place in Kew England as to size, and the first as to need of 
evangelical labor." His judgment and wishes leaned toward 
Salem ; but the moment that his people heard of it, they 
were " all in an uproar," and could not endure the thought 
of his leaving them, and so strong and touching appeals 
were made to him that hi?, feelings were all enlisted in be- 
half of his familiar flock. At one time he decided, against 
his judgment, not to go ; and went off to attend the meeting 
of the General Association at Northampton, and preach a 
sermon before it. Soon after his return, in consequence of 
renewed pressure from others, and from his own convictions 
of duty, he formally asked his church for a dismission, at 
the same time declaring that he could not decide what his 
duty was, and laying the responsibility upon them. They 
unanimously voted not to dismiss him or call a council, and 
assumed the entire responsibility. In the mean time, in an- 
ticipation of a different result, Mr. Todd had sold his house, 
and must vacate it within two months. In this state of un- 
certainty he determined to send his wife and children to her 
father's for a visit, while he himself went to Vermont to at- 



234 JOHN TODD. 

tend the meeting of the General Association of that State, 
to which he had been sent as a delegate. His Ijope was, 
that, in his absence, events would make the path of duty 
more cleaj-, and that his own mind, removed from excite- 
ment, would become more settled. 

" Middlebury, Vt., September 7th. 

" I found my sisters better off as to this world than I ex- 
pected. They have good homes, and enough of every thing ; 
and both have very kind husbands. I can not sufficiently 
express my deep regret that you could not come with me. 
I think much of you and the dear children, and though you 
may not send your thoughts up over these high mountains, yet 
I shall think much of you till I see you. You never seemed 
so perfect and so good a wife as at this moment ; and while 
I thank God for having given you to me, I hope I shall prize 
you more and more. You must forgive me any and all my 
faults, if I have ever fliiled to treat you as you deserve, or 
as I ought. I do not expect to hear any thing at present 
from Groton. It seems as if I could not long endure this 
awful state of suspense." 

"Saratoga Springs, September 22(3. 

"The home of my poor sister, I found to be lonely beyond 
description, though very pleasant. The house was planned 
by her, and, for its size, could not be more convenient. Even 
the trees and shrubbery in the yard were hers, and grow 
green and beautiful, though the hand that planted and nur- 
tured them is gone. She must have been a good mother. 
She was walking, and kissing her beautiful babe, but fifteen 
minutes before she "was in eternity. The yard is full of 
trees and roses planted by her hand. Her husband has dug 
up four of the most beautiful, and replanted them : they 
now bend over her 'grave. I hardly ever felt worse than 
when I left the four little motherless ones. The youngest 
clung to me, and seemed determined to claim me as his own. 
The people there all loved Mary exceedingly. As I was 
standing over the grave, a man tried to console me in these 
words, ' We all loved her, sir, more than we knew of, and 
we dug her the handsomest grave you ever looked into.' " 

It had been a part of his i)lan to visit a brother in New 
York State, whom he had not seen for nineteen years ; but 
his anxiety about Groton would not permit him to prolong 



LIFE AT GBOTON. 235 

his journey. On his return he found nothing yet settled ; 
the Salem people as importunate, his own people as resolute, 
as ever. Again he laid before the church his request for a 
council. The request was granted, and the council met, and 
"the church had a meeting, and took back all that they had 
said and done, and wept and prayed, and then presented 
themselves in such an attitude that the council could not re- 
sist them." The council decided not to sanction his dismis- 
sion ; and as he had left the whole question for their decision, 
he now brought back his familj^, and prepared to re-establish 
his home, and to resume his work in all sincerity. It was, 
however, a difficult thing to do. There was no house to be 
bought or rented, and every thing was unsettled. But, more 
than all, the charm was broken. The ten thousand delicate 
.and subtle fibres that bound the tree to the soil had been 
broken and weakened by the storm. The pastoral relation 
rarely long survives such a shock. Accordingly, when, in 
December, a unanimous call came from a church in North- 
ampton, where he had preached before the General Asso- 
ciation in June, he was ready to listen to it. Taught by ex- 
perience, he asked no advice, and allowed the call no pub- 
licity, till he had quietly formed an irrevocable decision. 
To such a decision his people could offer no objection. He 
was dismissed almost immediately; but his thoughts never 
ceased to turn back to Groton with peculiar love. 

" O flock led by my youth, tender and kind to forgive my 
imperfections, dear to my memory as the apple of the eye, 
may peace ever rest upon you, and a light, pure, bright and 
warm, go up from your altar, and hang far over the hills and 
valleys around you !" 



236 JOHN TODD. 



CHAPTER XYII. 

LIFE AT XOETHAlSrPTON. 

A beautiful Town. — In the Town-hall. — The Building-spot. — No Stores. — 
An anxious Day. — A judicious Irishman. — The Baptist Meeting-house. — 
A Revival. — Bitter Memories. — The sick Child. — Just alive. — Out of Dan- 
ger. — The Communion-plate. — A green Spot. — New Theology. — Nothing 
Accomplished. — Error Misapprehended. — A Son. — Dedication. — Always 
too Late. — Ramming down. — The Devil losing Ground. — Meetings ! Meet- 
ings '.—The Baby at Church.— The Ministry at Fault.— A Book. 

The beautiful town of Northampton, nestling in the 
meadows of the Connecticut River, in the heart of Mas- 
sachusetts, is one of the older towns in the State, and has 
many interesting historic associations, not the least of which 
is the fact that it was there that Jonathan Edwards preached 
and wrote and suffered. The parish over which he had been 
settled had increased with the growth of the town, till in 
1831 it contained over two thousand eight hundred souls, 
and the division of it, which had long been strenuously re- 
sisted, became manifestly necessary. Accordingly, a few of 
the brethren consulted together and adopted measures, and 
shortly afterward asked and received permission from the 
old church to organize themselves into a new church and 
society. Their first step was to invite Mr. Todd to become 
their pastor. His ministry among them began in the town- 
hall, January 20th, 1833, at which time there was in existence 
no church, society, Sunday-school, house of worship, or any 
thing but the congregation, which then met for the first time. 
It was beginning at the very foundation. 

" January 18th. 

" We arrived night before last, very cold, very tired, but 
all well. We left the people in Groton feeling well and 
kindly toward us. We do not think we made a single en- 
emy by coming, and yet they lamented it quite enough, and 
they and we suffered quite enough. Our prospects here are 
sufliciently flattering. Almost all of my church will be 
young men, and men of a very high order. We are now 



LIFE AT XORTHAJIPTOX. 237 

boarding, and have not yet decided upon a house. 'They 
liave selected three, none of whicli is such as they want we 
should have." Subsequently the people purchased a house 
on Market Street, "for which we pay them one hundred dol- 
lars rent. I have the same salary that I had in Groton, with 
the promise that it shall be increased to one thousand dol- 
lars yearly, as soon as the people are able." 

The 30th of January witnessed the double solemnities of 
the organization of the church, and the installation of the 
pastor, the Friday preceding having been observed as a day 
of fasting and prayer. The sermon in the morning, at the 
organization of the church, was preached by the pastor elect. 
The church was organized as th,e Edwards Church, with 
ninety- nine members, of whom forty -four were men, and 
adopted the articles of faith and covenant which Mr. Todd 
had drawn up for his church in Groton. The installation 
took place in the afternoon, Doctor Hawes, of Hartford, 
preaching the sermon. A few months later the Edwards 
Church Society was incorporated by act of legislature. 

"February 26th. 

"Our place of worship is full; and we have much fewer 
than if we had better accommodations; and, what is more, 
the audience is solemn, and we begin to hope that there are 
tokens of the special presence of the Lord. At the union 
prayer-meeting on Friday evenings we have as many as four 
hundred to pray." 

"March 3d. 

"We feel the decay of grandmother more than you might 
expect. We rejoice that she is so calm, and hope the pas- 
sage will be straight and bright and easy. It is a great thing 
to die. I think of it more, thouoh I do not know as I srrow 

better 'prepared for it, every day We can not tell as to 

our prospects here ; there is a strong, almost bitter attach- 
ment to the old house and the old establishment, and for the 
first year or two we may have hard lifting. They make quite 
as much opposition as Christians ought to make To- 
day our committee have purchased a building -spot for the 
meeting-house. It is nearly opposite the old meeting-house 
— decidedly the best spot in town. The man who sold it is 
a bitter Unitarian : nobody expected he would sell, and yet 
he has done so. The heart is in the hand of the Lord." 

16 



238 JOHN TODD. 

"Mai-cli5th. 

"This evening Mr. Rowe, of Groton, arrived, we having 
sent for him to come and draw plans of a house, make esti- 
mates, etc. He has refused six meeting-houses this win- 
ter." Mr. Rowe, it will be recollected, was the builder of 
the meeting-house in Groton. 

"March 8th. 

"All the forenoon the building committee, of whom I have 
to be one, met Mr. Rowe, and talked over plans. We are 
to have the house of brick, and so constructed as to seat one 
thousand people without crowding. In the afternoon, our 
little church came together, to see if they could prevent 
having stores under it, which we proposed to do on account 
of the great expense of the land, and saw no way to avoid. 
They determined that they would not have stores; and of 
the two thousand dollars which were needed to prevent it, 
they raised seventeen hundred on the spot." 

" March 18th. 

*'A very anxious day. In the afternoon we had a meet- 
ing of our people, to see if we could i-aise money for the 
house. The sum which must be raised for the house and 
land is twelve thousand dollars. It was a very anxious 
time wMth me, but we came out of the meeting feeling bet- 
ter. Nine thousand dollars w^ere on the paper at the close 
of the meeting. This exceeded my expectations." 

"The First Church met this afternoon, and voted a call to 
Doctor Penney. It is thought he will undoubtedly accept. 
He is an Irishman — came over in 1819 — taught school at 
Flatbush, New York, first, then settled at Rochester: seems 
to be a moderate, judicious, sober, good man." 

"April 28th. 

"We are now worshiping in a new brick meeting-house 
(owned by the Baptists in Boston), while ours is building, 
and it is full of people, galleries and all : w^e have not pews 
enough. The congregation is solemn and very attentive. I 
have had between thirty and forty attend the inquiry-meet- 
ing within three weeks, and two hopeful conversions." 

"May 3d. 

"We have been moving and shifting and repairing and 
cleaning, wearied and hurried almost to death. We are now 
at housekeeping in our new and beautiful house, and our 



I 



LIFE AT XORTHAMPTOX. 239 

prospects for domestic comforts are too great. I feel afraid, 
absolutely afraid, that we are to receive some severe and 
Dierited chastisements, to counterbalance these many, many 

comforts and conveniences." " I wish that would not 

always feel so jealous, and be throwing out her intimations 
that she is forgotten and forsaken, and the like. It is not 
so. Xobody is forgotten who is worthy of being remem- 
bered : and such suspicions always bring upon us the very 
things which we deprecate. She must know that, with the 
entire weight of my mother to carry, it is impossible for me 
to do more. So far as my means go, I have never been ac- 
cused of being stingy or ungrateful. Any thing I could do 
for her I would most cheerfully." 

"June 9th. 
• "Doctor Penney was installed last ^\^ednesday. It seems 
as if we should get along very well together. I should 
think him a man very free from jealous feelings, and if so, 
there will be no difficulty. We have been tried and trou- 
bled for ' help,' till I wished society reduced to the primi- 
tive simplicity of eating roots, and the man to roast them, 
pots and kettles not being invented. At last we have a girl 
— very good ; but we don't know how long she will stay 
with us, as she intends to be married as soon as ' he ' is 
ready. Our meeting-house is to be enlarged, with the ex- 
pectation that my popularity will fill it up at once. Too 
large, as it has galleries. TTe shall have to use all the econ- 
omy which is possible, in order to live. The people are very 
kind. Hardly a day passes but we have a little j)resent of 
some kind or other." 

To William L. Chaplin. 

"June 17th. 
"I went into the Post-office after meeting, the other even- 
ing, and found your letter. I broke it open on the spot, 
and ran it over. It was dark, and I went crying all the way 
home. I cried almost all night over it, and it made me 
down sick. Do not, I entreat of you, ever allude to the past 
again. You delayed writing so long that I concluded your 
silence would never be broken, and mournfully supjoosed our 
friendship was at an end till we met on the shores of immor- 
tality, where I trusted it would be renewed, to flow, like the 
river of God, forever. I am so well situated that I could 



240 JOHX TODD. 

not wish any thing better, were there no remembrance of 
the past. Let memory cease to throw the past so vividly 
upon the soul, and that, too, in such burning colors, and I 
would not ask for more. You are the only man living whom 
I have ever met whom I could call and feel to be a friend. 
You will be the last, as well as the first. 'Very pleasant 
hast thou been unto me; thy love to me was wonderful, 
passing the love of women.' Oh, my heart will bleed over 
our separation till the hand of death has stilled it ! May 
you find a brighter side to your tears than I can to mine." 

"July 27th. 

" On Monday of this week little Martha began to show 
symptoms of being out of health. We were not troubled 
till Tuesday afternoon, when we called a physician. She is 
now i^ery sick. Two physicians are at her bedside, apply 
ing leeches to her throat: fever very high, distress great. 
Dear babe ! we have done hoping that she can live. Dear 
Saviour, may we be prepared to give back this dear, sweet 
spirit to thee — to thy arms — to thy bosom !" 

"Half-past one o'clock, Sabbath morning. 

"The doctor has remained here all night, so far; a great 
alteration in her within two hours : she is but just alive. 
Mrs. Todd and myself have just been kneeling in the study, 
and surrendering back this dear child into the hands of its 
Redeemer. She may live several hours, but the doctor 
gives us to understand that she may not but a few minutes. 
It seems as if no child could ever be dearer than this. We 
have loved her too much." 

"Five o'clock, Sabbath morning. 

"The child still alive. The fever fit has subsided: the 
whole body, except the hands, cold and livid. Though life 
still lingers in her frail body, we have no hope of her living." 

"Nine o'clock. 

"Doctor Penney has just called, and will supply my pul- 
pit to-day : a very great favor indeed, as I am not fit to 
be about." 

"Two o'clock P.M. 

" Oh that you could see the beautiful one once more, ere 
the spark which even now lights up her eye is quenched for- 
ever ! But we have not a word to say. We have had the 
keeping of this dear babe longer than we deserve ; and now, 



LIFE AT NORTHAMPTON 241 

at any hour or moment, we must be ready to deliver her up 
into the hands of her heavenly Father." 

"Eight o'clock P.M. 

" The poor child is still with us. She is quiet, but breathes 
badly. I should not be surprised at any moment to be 
called to close her eyes. Oh, the anguish of memory, and 
of anticipation, and of fear !" 

"Monday, noon. 

" Every medicine seems to work well, but there is no sub- 
duing the disease. It is controlled, but is gradually wearing 
the dear child out. The physicians have both just left, evi- 
dently discouraged." 

"Five o'clock p.m. 

"I go to her bedside and gaze, and hear her short groans, 
as long as I can stay, and then go away to weep. Wonder- 
ful skill ! in creating and planting in the human heart that 
wonderful passion which we call parental! As I go about 
the house (and oh, this feeling is to increase to agony !) I 
see her little chair, her clothes, her things : here she sat, 
there she sung, there she gave me her sweet looks; every 
spot is associated with the past, and with fear. Her little 
swing, her place at the table, are empty ; and when I tell 
you that there is to my mind no hope that they will ever 
again be filled, you will know how to feel and sympathize 
with us. I have never recovered from the scenes attending 
the death of our first-born. It seems as if even now I could 
see its countenance, its eye, and hear its cries." 

"Six o'clock P.M. 

"I come every little while to my study, and take my pen 
as a sort of alleviation. For the last hour and a half the 
frequent shrieks and cries of the little sufferer have been 
filling the house, and I can most plainly hear every one in 

my study now." 

"Half-past eight o'clock p.m. 

" I know we ought, not to refuse to give this dear one, 

this sweet child, back to her Maker and Father: she must 

be better off than with us ; but oh, the agony of breaking 

the heart-strings ! Before this reaches you she may be in 

heaven: she^roSaJ^y will be." 

"Midnight. 

" She looks like alabaster, with a rose painted on the 

cheek." 



242 JOHX TOBD. 

"Tuesday morning, six o'clock. 

"The physicians both in. They seem amazed at the 
strength of constitution which can live under such a fever. 
The flush is gone from the cheek, but the pulse is not dimin- 
ished. The only hope with the physicians, and it is a very 
small one, is that she can sustain the disease till it has spent 
itself. They have been able to control it somewhat, and 
that is all. Poor Mary ! she wanders lonely about the 
house, now trying to amuse herself, and now weeping in se- 
cret, and now weeping aloud." 

" Half-past eleven o'clock a.m. 

" It now seems evident that the poor sufferer is near her 
end. The powers of life are failing, and rapidly. No hu- 
man skill can do any thing. She" now lies in a deep slum- 
ber, the fever still upon her, hardly moving the white sheet 
over her as she breathes. I have been trying to lay her 
gently in the arms of her heavenly Father; but oh, how 
hard, how hard to lay such a child even on the bosom of 
Jesus !" 

"One o'clock p.m. 

" For the last hour and a half we have supposed Martha 
was beginning that sleep from which slie will not be awaked 
till the morning of the resurrection. She has every appear- 
ance of dying." 

" Half-past eight o'clock p.m. 

"She lies comfortable now; has lived far, far beyond the 
expectations of all. Every hour we fear will be the last, 
and at every encouragement we catch. I fear Mrs. Todd 
will fall under it. If she lies down, a shriek from Martha 
will bring her to the bedside." 

"Eleven o'clock p.m. 

"Martha woke from a sleep, shrieking, 'Mother, mother! 
father, father!' Mrs. Todd and myself had lain down a few 
minutes. I was at her side in a moment, and her mother 
soon. But all to no purpose ; she was lost, and seemed aw- 
fully frightened. She kept crying the same thing, till Ave 
could administer a powerful anodyne, and have it take ef- 
fect." 

" Half-past four o'clock, Wednesday morning. 

" The physicians both here. They are gratified to see how 
marvelously the little creature bears medicine." 



LIFE AT NORTHAMPTOX. 243 

"Wednesday, noon. 

"The physicians have been in once in about an hour, seem- 
ing very anxious to know whether the quiet of tlie dear 
child is that which immediately precedes death, or that 
which indicates the yielding of the power of the disease. 
They are satisfied that it is the latter. Thanks be to God ! 
hope once more shines into our anxious hearts, but shines 
but faintly." 

" Thursday morning. 

"The physicians say that she is yet dreadfully diseased; 
yet they can not but take courage, because it would seem 
to them that if she were to die she would have sunk away 
before this." 

" Friday evening, sunset. 

" Little Martha is pronounced out of danger ; and, though 
she is very restless and very sick yet, there is no return of 
the disease, and she is most manifestly better. The crisis 
was on Tuesday. She gets better imjjerceptibly ; but we 
bless God that we may now hope that she may live, and be 
spared to us. We trust you will unite with us in giving 
thanks to God for his great goodness. It will require very 
great care and patience and labor to raise her from this 
point." 

"August 26th. 

" Our little Martha has been spared to us, though she has 
but just lived. She is now so that she walks a very few 
steps, and has begun to ride out. She is still very feeble, 
and it has been a world of care to get along with her. Ev- 
ery thing in my prospects looks fair; but I have lived too 
long not to expect the rising of clouds, and from any part 
of the heavens." 

" September 24th. 

"The First Church met and voted to give tlie Edwards 
Church five hundred dollars out of their fund, which is 
eleven hundred dollars, that they might procure as good 
communion plate as they chose. This step will do more 
good to both churches than four times the amount of money. 
It is exceedingly pleasant to us, and will make all parties 
feel better. And this evening I have had the present of an 
elegant new suit of clothes, all made up, from some members 
of the old church." It will be perceived from this that, in 



244 JOHN TODD. 

spite of some unavoidable jealousies, the relations of the 
two churches to one another were far more pleasant than 
those between a colony and its parent church often are. 
Mr. Todd himself also, as will presently be seen, was much 
thought of by the old church, and performed a great deal 
of work for them. With their pastors — for old Mr. Williams, 
their superannuated pastor, was still with them — he was al- 
ways on the friendliest terms. Years afterward Doctor Pen- 
ney wrote: "Often, and with deep feeling of its truth and 
value, have I borne my testimony, both publicly and pri- 
vately, to the priceless worth of fidelity and love between 
ministers, based on our experience in Northampton. That 
was truly a green spot in my pilgrimage, which brightens 
with the lapse of years, and will; I think, seem bright in 
heaven." With Mr. Williams, who was old and feeble, he 
had less intercourse, but in what there w^as he maintained 
the attitude and feelings of a son, and it was to this aged 
pastor that he presented his own little boy for baptism. 
Thus, for the second time, he was called to the somewhat 
difiicult position of a minister subordinate to men of supe- 
rior position or more advanced in years, and by his conduct 
in it earned the kindness of others when he himself should 
become an aged pastor. 

"It is marvelous that I have got along so well, consider- 
ing my difficult situation, with both societies. The minis- 
ters in this region meet at Doctor Penney's, or in my study, 
every Monday morning, for conversation, discussion, etc., and 
it is very pleasant indeed." 

" October 29th. 

"I see that you are to have a new theological seminary in 
Connecticut. We are to have some of your Connecticut the- 
ology here yet ; and when and where it will begin, and when 

and w^here it will end, is more than I dare predict. C 

thinks that none will hereafter come on the stage as preach- 
ers who are not Taylorites, and that the rejecters of that sys- 
tem will soon be only those who are too old and obstinate to 
see light. It may be so ; but of this I feel assured, that, to 
counterbalance the evils which it has already caused, Tay- 
lorism ought to do very much for the world, and pour an 
abundance of oil of joy into the wounded bosom of the 
daughter of Zion." 



LIFE AT XORTRAJIPTOX. 245 

" October 30th. 

"I was never so busy as of late, and yet never accom- 
plished less of what I wished and determined upon. Is 
there no way of studying without wearisomeness to the 
flesh ; no way of seizing time and compelling it to leave 
something behind it upon which we can look with pleasure? 
"What with feeding the body thrice daily, resting it a long 
night on a soft bed, and clothing and warming it continu- 
ally, there is left to the soul but a fraction of time in which 
to act, to say nothing about reading poor papers, and seeing 
stupid company, and attending to ten thousand calls to pro- 
mote the supreme selfishness of others. I begin to feel tliat 
I shall never acquire or create that unconcpierable, unquench- 
able fire which is so necessary to prevent life from running 
through the fingers, leaving not a distinct mark or remem- 
brance behind. Sometimes I lay out a good plan, and have 
something that fills the mind, like Cicero's ' aliquid immen- 
sum iufinitumque,' and which seems not entirely beyond the 
reach ; but the next call, or the next jog, puts all to flight, 
and leaves me lower than ever in the scale of self satisfaction. 
Did you ever see an 'agent?' When will their number be 
filled up? As their number increases, so does their brazen- 
faced impudence. I am sick of the very name of agent." 

"Xovember 14th. 

"Even in this beautiful valley, where the waters murmur soft 
as those of Siloa, the heart of man is selfish and proud and full 
of sin. The waters of life flow unheeded, and there is more 
eagerness to see Henry Clay than to see One greater than he." 

"November 22d. 

"Relig^ion is low here, to a degree that is awful and 
alarminof. The slumbers of death seem upon us. AVhat to 
do, or which way to tarn, or what will be the final result, I 
know not. I ponder somewhat over your new theological 
school, and, living in a day when all manner of experiments 
are made, and most succeed, I feel too modest to predict its 

fate. Professor complains of misapprehension ! It is 

alwavs the fate of error to be misapprehended. When was 
it otherwise? We have a new violin, and a new double- 
bass viol, besides a common viol, in our choir, to say noth- 
ing of flutes, etc. Don't you think we can sing ? Well, we 
can't^ if you do think so." 



246 JOHX TODD. 

"December 6th. 

"You will rejoice with us, I trust, in the goodness of God. 
This morning our dear so7i was given to us — a beautiful, 
well-proportioned boy. I had made up my mind to leave 
it wholly with God, and to be contented, whether it were a 
son or a daughter; but when distress seemed to be over, 
and it was announced that it was a so??, my eyes at once 
filled, and more than filled, with tears of joy. 

"The question is coming up, is it proper and right for a 
Christian at this day to keep back any part of his property 
from the service of Christ, and lay it up for his children? 
Can you answer it ? I am in no particular danger of sinning 
in this way at present. 

"A National Anti-slavery Society is about to be formed 
at Philadelphia, and then auxiliaries are to be formed, and 
then a warfare is begun such as this country has never 
seen. God grant that it result in nothing worse than the 
outpouring of passions in words. 

"I have been reading the Life of Robert Hall with in- 
tense interest. A wonderful man ! A sun in brightness 
and splendor and glory, with large and dark spots upon 
him." 

From Mrs. Brace. 

"December 12th. 

"They think of calling the little boy Jonathan Edwards. 
It will probably be the first child baptized in the Edwards 
house. Mr. Todd has just received a note containing sev- 
enty-five dollars, saying that they had taken ofi* his sub- 
scription for the meeting-house, and sent it back, with 
twenty-five dollars additional." 

The dedication of the new meeting-house took place on 
Christmas- day, the sermon being preached by the pastor, 
on the influence of the pulpit. The building was severely 
simple, but was considered as handsome as any thing in 
Xew England outside of Boston. "I never expected to 
have any thing like it." It was destroyed by fire in 1867, 
and replaced with a still better structure. 

" January 1st, 1834. 

"We can not say what our audience will be hereafter, 
but it was large last Sabbath — very large; twice as large 
as before we left the Baptist house. Our pews sold wonder- 



LIFE AT XORTHAMPTO^'^. 247. 

fully well — between nine and ten thousand dollars in one 
afternoon ; so that we shall have no trouble in paying for 
the beautiful house. Mr. Chaplin came to the dedication, 
and got here in the evening. Always too late ! He will 
live to a good old age, if he is as long in dying as he is in 
beginning to live and do any thing. 

" We had a poor kind of installation at Amherst. I have 
never met the man educated across the water who had a 
mind disciplined by severe theological education. There is 
no ramming clovm of the mind, as in New England. Why, 
I do not know; but the fact is unquestionable." 

"January 24th. 
"We held meetings every evening last week, and are go- 
ing to continue them this week. The tide of feeling is ris- 
ing with us. A very solemn meeting this evening, and two 
have been to see me, anxious for the soul. Our meetino-s 
are held together, and the two churches are completely 
melted together, and run together in great harmony and 
love and nnity." 

"March 3d. 
"I am so worn out by duties and labors, that I have no 
time, no strength, no courage, and no desire, to move or to 
do any thing, except as I must. Martha has been getting 
better, but Mary has been sick; and what with being up 
nights, and attending one, two, or four meetings daily, and a 
uniform course of toothache, I have got down. The revival 
has been going on, still, silent, decided, and glorious. I do 
not know the number of inquirers. In my own little con- 
gregation there are over a hundred, of whom between forty 
and fifty are rejoicing in light. We have about two hun- 
dred and fifty at the inquiry-meeting, and there are proba- 
bly over three hundred in town, if not nearer five hundred, 
who are inquirers. I never worked so hard in my life, and 
never learned human nature so fast. I am glad to say that 
I think the old way of doing things is getting in vogue here, 
though there are very many wdio would catch quick, and be 
glad to be off in a world of excitement. It is so much eas- 
ier to have a protracted meeting, and rouse up, and make a 
noise, and then go to sleep again, than to repent, and live 
out religion. Just as some families would prefer having a 
great '^ee'once a year to doing the work themselves. In 



248 JOHX TODD. 

all our meetings we continue united, and every thing seems 
to work well. That we shall have trouble from some quar- 
ter or other is to be expected. It would be an unheard-of 
thing for the devil to give up so much ground, and not 
make a noise about it. 

" We feel glad, and, I hope, grateful (though there is a 
difference between the two things), that we are so far spared 
and recovered, and that Mrs. Todd can get out once more. 
Surely this is one of the most favored spots in the wide 
world ; and we could not reasonably expect ever to be so 
well off in this life as we are at this moment." 

"March 30th. 

"Meetings, meetings, meetings! I am worn out, and cry 
for a separation of the two churches, but can get none. We 
have nine or ten meetings every morning for prayer at six 
o'clock, and all full, solemn, and good. Every evening we 
have some public meeting, and frequently two. Our house 
has been opened for worship almost every night. Conver- 
sions are very common, though not as common. There have 
been over ninety in my little congregation who have hoped 
in Christ. Almost every man in my congregation is hope- 
fully converted. I really work more and harder for Doctor 
Penney's people than I do for my own. They seem to en- 
joy it; but we should do better to go alone. Our Sabbath- 
school is in fine order. One class has sixteen young men 
in it, all of them over sixteen years of age, and all of them 
Christians. One class of young ladies contains twelve, and 
every one of them has become hopefully pious during this 
revival. My church appear well, and seem to be setting 
out well. We have now about six more to be added to us 
by letter, one of them from Doctor Penney's church, and 
they scolded so that I do not know when another will dare 
to come to us. They are as tenacious as if we were Unita- 
rians, and some of them more so." 

"April 7th. 

"Little John Edwards went to meeting yesterday. Fa- 
ther Williams baptized him, and all went off to admiration. 
He looked beautiful, and behaved like a man." 

"AprillOth. 

"I was gone all Wednesday, attending a council ; worked 
hard all day, and fear I did not accomplish much, though it 



LIFE AT NORTH AMPT OX. 249 

may be the beginning of healing to a church which has 
been shipwrecked and torn asunder by too violent a minis- 
ter. I lay more fault and blame at the door of the minis- 
try, when such evils arise, than I used to do. I believe they 
usually, by some injudicious measures, produce the evils. 
Yesterday I was gone all day also, to attend a protracted 
meeting at Southampton : full, and I hope good will be 
done, though I have less and less faith in such meetings 
ever}^ day I live. It seems to me I would give a finger to 
see the time when I need not mourn over things all around 
me which I ought to do, but can not. As for study, a new 
idea has not come within half a mile of my head for months. 
I never expect to study any more. It is a dead set. We 
are ut semper — which is about all the Latin I can remem- 
ber." 

" May 22d. 
"I send you my little volume of 'Lectures to Children,' 
and I beg you to be kind enough to read it at once, and send 
me instanter any suggestions, hints, remarks, or criticisms 
which you may please. As I have said in the preface, I 
have preached such kind of talk once a quarter; but the 
fact is, when I began to prepare the book (since my dedica- 
tion sermon was published), I had but one of them written. 
I have made the book during all the labors of the revival. 
I intend to give a copy to each of my two hundred Sabbath- 
school children. These cost me sixty dollars — rather more 
than my income on the first edition. I do most earnestly 
hope the book will meet with your approbation, and, above 
all, with the approbation of God." 



250 JOHN TODD. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

LIFE AT NORTHAMPTOisr — Gontinued. 

Vacation. — A Presentiment. — Tlie Red Sea. — Tlie Devil's Invention. — An 
Organ Difficulty.— The old Pastor's Sunset.— Mrs. Todd an Author.— Keep 
Cool. — Mount Holjoke Seminary. — A new House. — Student's Manual. — 
Under the Wheel.— The Door Locked.— A Call.— Frozen Rattlesnakes.— 
A Revival. — Council in Philadelphia. — A loud Call. — Hangs back. — Beech- 
er at the Oar. — A gloomy Time. — A great Move. — A pleasant Home Broken 
Up. — Farewell to Northampton. 

The labors and anxieties of the revival and of authorship 
had so worn upon Mr. Todd that in July he took a short 
vacation, and, in company with Doctor Pennej^, started for 
Saratoga Springs. The stage -route took them through 
Pittsfield, over whose beauty, little dreaming of any more 
intimate relation to it in tlie future, Mr. Todd was eloquent 
in sundry letters to the local papers. 

From Saratoga he continued his journey to Lewis County, 
to visit his oldest brother, whom he had long wished to see. 

Dictated by William C. Todd. 
"For eighteen years I had not seen John, and I asked a 
young man going to Massachusetts to call at his house in 
Northampton, and ask him to come out to see me. The 
young man delivered the message, and brought me back 
word that he did not think he could get away from home 
that summer. At that time Lewis County was a new, 
rongh country, and I lived in a log-house with two rooms, 
in each of which was a bed. It was a warm July night, and, 
my little child being restless, I told my wife I would take the 
baby and go into the front room. There it grew quiet, and 
I soon fell asleep. I slept a little, but soon woke suddenly. 
It seemed to me I heard, almost audibly spoken, ' Your 
brother is coming.' I reasoned with myself how impossible 
it was for either of my brothers to come. Jonathan wrote 
he could not, and John sent word he, could not. A second 
time I started from sleep, feeling the same impression. 



LIFE AT XOBTHAMrTOX. 251 

Again I settled tliat it must all be imagination, and fell 
asleep again. Once more I was awakened by wife's callino^ 
to me that some one was knocking. I jumped np, slipped 
on my clothes, and, opening the door, I saw a stranger. I 
stirred up the embers, still alive in the great fire-place, but 
I could not recognize the features. He said, ' You do not 
know who I am !' I looked again critically, and said,' Yes, 
I do know you : you are my brother John.' It was the only 
presentiment I ever had. He had hired a man to bring him 
over from Denmark in a buggy, and on the way they passed 
a school -house where there was a prayer- meeting, and a 
woman's voice w^as heard in prayer. He made the driver 
stop the horse, that he might listen; he asked him if thi^ 
was common in this part of the country, as he was not used 
-to it in Massachusetts, where the women held prayer-meet- 
ings by themselves. The man said that with us it was com- 
mon. John came just at the right time. This was Wednes- 
day night ; and he staid until Monday, and preached twice 
on the Sabbath, and I united with the church in the after- 
noon. My wife joined the church soon after. We had had 
quite a revival ; and the Baptists proposed forming a union 
church. Committees from three churches were chosen, to 
confer concerning the creed. As the Baptists had proposed 
union, the others asked them how applicants should receive 
baptism. The answer was prompt, 'By the only Script- 
ural way.' ' What is that ?' ' Immersion.' They retired, to 
report to the churches, and never met again. -The people 
Avere to have another meeting, to see what should be done. 
Hearing of this meeting, John said he would attend, and he 
went in, and sat near the pulpit. After a while he rose, and 
said he would tell them a little about Massachusetts. He 
said they had just given the Baptists ten thousand dollars 
to help the Burmah mission ; but they had just had a re- 
vival, and though many Methodists had communed with 
them, he never heard of but one Baptist who did, and he 
never knew how they disposed of his case. He went on : 
'My brethren, your table is too narrow; you must make it 
broader ; you must spread the Lord\s table.' At this a Bap- 
tist sister was so discouraged that she knelt right down and 
prayed that the brother's heart might be changed, and told 
the Lord thev had come to the Red Sea. and she did not see 



252 JOHN TODD. 

how they could ever get across to dry land. Another sister 
followed, and, as I did not like such talk, I took my hat and 
went out. But John staid through ; and as he was coming 
out of the meeting a Methodist came up and thanked him, 
and said he would remember him as long as he lived; he did 
not think they could have union, and now he was convinced 
they could not. John replied, 'It would not do for you to 
say such things, but I am a stranger; and if any one is to 
be blamed for kicking over the basin of porridge, it had 
better be I.' " 

On his return from this short vacation, his labors were as 
great as ever. " I am hurried beyond measure. I have this 
•week to visit two academies, attend five meetings, write two 
sermons, letters, give advice to two distracted churches, and 
have been sent for to sit in two quarreling councils. So it 
is all the time. You have no idea of the misery of having 
such a constant run of company, inviting and going, and in- 
vitinor and o-oino; the whole time. If the devil had not both 
hands in the invention of tea, I know not who had." 

" October 2Sth. 

"For some time my people have been in commotion about 
music, especially in regard to an organ. Where we shall 
come out is more than I dare say. It seems sometimes as 
if the ship would founder in the storm. I am not implicated, 
though of course it is known that I have an opinion on the 
question. I believe they will have an organ, but it may be 
the means -of splitting us all in pieces. I sit and gaze at 
the storm, trusting it all with Him who ' stilleth the tumult 
of the people.' 

" Father Williams is alive, though we have been expect- 
ing for some time that every day would be his last. He is 
rational, clear, collected, humble, and happy. He appears 
exceedingly well, and his sun grows brighter and brighter 
as it goes down. The angel of the everlasting covenant 
stands by him. He holds firmly on to the old and great 
doctrines of the Bible, aud makes them his stay in this 
hour." 

" December 1st. 

"Mrs. Todd is actually coming out in the world. She is 
preparing a little selection of poems for the press, which she 
calls ' Gleanings for the Xursery,' and will probably have it 



LIFE AT X0RTHA2IPT0X. 253 

through the press in a few weeks. Woidd you have thought 
it? But what is the use of having talented wives, if one 
may not tell of'it ? and what is the use of having friends in 
Connecticut, if we may not tell all the smart things which 
we are doing, and are going to do? I have had fine offers 
from New York and Boston, if I Avill write again ; but I am 
a curious creature: when I have found I can do a thing, I 
never want to do it again. I do suppose I could make a 
small fortune with my pen, were I to give myself to it; but 
I have such a reluctance to doing it, that I sometimes feel 
ready to vow never to think of the press again. I say noth- 
ing about doing good ; for in a heart as bad as mine I am 
afraid to inquire about that motive." 

" February 1st, 1835. 
. "Tired, tired, tired! I don't know as I should have tried 
to write a word, if the jjeculiar modesty of Mrs. Todd had 
not come near making you believe that some parts of her 
book are not original. You must know they are^ and I es- 
teem it, taken in all its ' circumstances,' as one of the won- 
ders of the age. But do not give her all the credit. Mag- 
na pars fill — some of her best are raine. What will not 
come next? Shall we all turn book-makers and witlings? 
I have imagined myself in almost all conditions, from that 
of being an emperor to that of a boot-black, and yet never 
had a fancy to place myself in the chair of an author. But 
'hunger will go through a stone wall,' and, for aught I 
know, I may yet write for the salt of my porridge." 

"April 1st. 
" You know I have been sick ; was on my back nearly a 
fortnight, and all my work and plans were thrown back 
about a month. I am not yet well; have half of my liead 
aching and ulcerating from my teeth, and much of weakness 
left. My plans, business, courage — every thing — have sunk 
at times very low. My book (' Student's Manual') has wor- 
ried me prodigiously. It is all written save the last chapter. 
It is more than half stereotyped, and I can already begin to 
see out. When it is all written thei-e will be an inconceiva- 
ble load of anxiety removed from my mind. I now feel that 
I shall never undertake to write for the press again. Even 
after it is all done, I have to groan under the apprehension 
of its failure, and smart under the flippant criticisms of a 

17 



254 JOHN TODD. 

thousand who do nothing in this world but snarl at oth- 
ers; and I have to ache for ray publisher, lest he lose. No 
one who has not been through it can imagilie the anxieties 
of authorship. I sometimes feel sorry that 1 ever touched 
it. 

" It makes me laugh to hear of father's sorrows about his 
good Jackson men. Let them have their meeting-house, 
and get to heaven, if they can ; and as for their scowling 
and hatred, it will all pass away in a short time, if you can 
keep cool. But don't be worried in the least ; and especially 
don't let them see that you are worried, even if you are. 
These popular commotions and changes must always be 
taking place, as long as we are not kept quiet by a standing- 
army. It is the very nature of man to be restless and rest- 
ive under all authority, human and divine ; and I do verily 
believe that the devil never hated any thing, since the days 
of the apostles, as he does pure Congregational churches." 

" April 22cl. 

" We call the South Hadley school, ' The Mount Holyoke 
Female Seminary,' a name of my own. Is it not better than 
that Greek affiiir with which you quarreled so?" Tliis sem- 
inary was just starting at this time, chiefly tlirough the la- 
bors of Miss Mary Lyon. Mr. Todd was one of the minis- 
ters who co-operated in it, and " a great meeting " had been 
held in Northampton a short time before, partly through his 
influence, to promote it. He never had much to do with it, 
however, except to give it its name. His removal from the 
vicinity soon after its establishment, and subsequently his 
dissatisfaction with some of its features, withdrew him from 
connection with it. 

The parsonage in Market Street having proved small and 
uncomfortable in the summer heat, Mr. Todd had been look- 
ing all winter for a chance to buy a pleasanter residence. 
"If I know my own heart, so for as myself is concerned, I 
care not a farthing about it. I do hope I sometimes am 
looking to a better home than I can ever find here. I have 
laid out this thing before God, and have asked him to do 
with me just as he pleases. Oh, if I could be wholly and 
entirely, swallowed up in him, all things will be right! I 
want my wife and babes should have a home, so that if I 
should be taken away they will not be turned out-of-doors. 



A 



LIFE AT N0RTHA2IPT0X. 255 

If I live, aDcl have my health, and the countenance of my 
friends, I can pay for a home ; if I do not, God will take 
care of all." 

" May 26tli. 

" We are now fairly and fully moved into our new house 
in Pleasant Street. We were troubled by the family, who 
would neither redeem it nor go out. Then we had to white- 
wash, and yellow-wash, paint and paper, and scrub, scour, 
and sweep. We then had to move. Oh, what a job ! 
Then we had carpets to fit, furniture to arrange, carpenters, 
painters, whitewashers, movers, and gardeners : then we 
had a load of grand cousins: then we had friends from Gro- 
ton: then we had a throng of company, and a world of 
hurry and worry, tear and rips. But we are fairly here, all 
well, have a fine house, fruit-trees, shade-trees, shrubbery in 
abundance, and now all in bloom. If we were not tired al- 
most to death, if we were not thronged with company, if 
we had no fear but we could support such an establishment, 
if we owed nothing toward it, if we had no fear of ever losing 
on it, if we could make all the repairs we want — in short, if 
we had no troubles, real or imaginary, we should do pretty 
well. The place is every way pleasant, convenient, central, 
retired, and in all respects more than answers my expecta- 
tions. I am satisfied that the purchase was judicious and 
proper. We plan and fix and w^ork, so as to have every 
thing suit your eye ; and we keep saying to ourselves, 'How 
will father like that?' 'How would this strike mother?' In 
fact, this is the way with all; we all work, not so much to 
be comfortable ourselves, as to convince others that we are 
comfortable. Our new organ is up: it is beautiful, well- 
proportioned, sweet in its tones, perfect, and in every way 
gives universal satisfaction. How many good things! May 
we be thankful and humble, and devoted to the great work 
of serving Him who hath bought us." 

"June28tli. 

"I am greatly obliged to you for your kind commenda- 
tions of the Student's Manual. I have had several moody 
times, some of which have brought tears into my eyes, since 
that book came out, when I reflected that I have no father 
and no mother who can read that book, and say, 'My son, 
you have added to my joys.' Oh, why could it not have 



256 JOHX TODD. 

been permitted me to have the high motive of pleasing one 
of my own kindred ! ALas ! poor I am one of the last twigs 
of one of the noblest families that ever relied on worth for 
name, and I shall soon follow them alL The book sells well, 
and I can not but hope it will do good." 

In September the family paid a visit to N'ewington, trav- 
eling with their own horse, as usual. In an account of the 
return journey, Mrs. Todd wrote : "As we were going very 
slowly up a sandy hill, Mr. Todd walking, Mary proposed 
to get out. I told her she had better not do it, but befoi'e I 
had done speaking she jumped, and did not clear the wheel. 
The wheel threw her down, and, I suppose, went over her 
\eg and hand. Being very much alarmed, I told Mr. Todd 
I believed the wheel had gone over her. He turned round, 
and found her lying between the two wheels. He was 
obliged to back the horse to get out her clothes. Nothing 
but the special providence of God prevented her from being 
killed. As we were going up the hill, and Mr. Todd was 
out, there was probably little weight on the front wheel." 

"October 27th. 

"I have got on a plan by which I study, and unll study, 
in spite of all the world. I go into m^^ room immediately 
after breakfast, and lock the door, and see neither man nor 
beast, sun, moon, nor stars, till dinner-time. This is really 
line. I have had sixteen calls before dinner." 

"December 16th. 

"I am shut up with pains in teeth and head almost insup- 
portable, else I should write a long letter. You will see by 
the Gazette of to-day a rumor of my being called awa}^ 
There is so much in it that I want to see you exceedingly." 
This refers to propositions received from the First Church 
in Utica, New York, which were afterward declined. "I 
am more than used up by Doctor Penney's parish and the 
neighboring parishes, all of whom seem to feel that it is a 
kindness to use me." Doctor Penney having accepted the 
presidency of Hamilton College, a great amount of parochial 
labor fell upon the remaining pastor. 

" February 22d, 1836. 

"We have been like rattlesnakes here, too much frozen 
even to rattle. I have never suffered so severely in any 
winter of my life. To-day we have had a most delightful 



LIFE AT XORTHAMPTOX. 257 

day, the first for a long, long time. I have sunned and en- 
joyed it highly. Xo old goose ever crept out and cackled 
with a higher joy. But such a body of snow as we still 
have ! We have had to shovel it from the roof of our house, 
lest it come in upon us. It now begins to turn to water, 
and the warm rays of the sun to-day seem to go to its very 
heart and melt it in tenderness. I long once more to see 
ray mother earth : never before have I been so long at a 
time without seeing her countenance. I am sorry to say 
there is no revival among my people, in the usual accepta- 
tion of that word. There have been perhaps two hopeful 
cases of conversion, and a few more are anxious. The church 
is becoming better, more engaged ; but one misery is that 
the old church must go with us, i. e., must be carried by us. 
The two churches are now under a united course of visiting; 
but many of the visitors are so poor Christians that I am 
fearful it will do no good. A community needs to be under 
a very high state of excitement and attention to receive 
much good from cold, inefficient, and dead professors." 

From Jfjs. Todd. 

"April 6th. 

"The state of things in our society is very interesting. 
Three weeks since, Mr. Todd held his first inquiry-meeting; 
there were eighteen. The next Sabbath evening there were 
twenty-five, and the next, over thirty, with an increase of so- 
lemnity. I suppose as many as twelve or fifteen are indulg- 
ing hope. The two churches are to unite to-morrow in the 
exercises of the fast, ]Mr. Todd to preach. I wish the old 
church would get a good minister. Mr. Todd has to per- 
form the labors, not of one great society, but of two. I have 
never known him so absolutely driven as at the present time. 
He is the chairman of four school committees, besides whal 
he has to do for the district schools and building a boarding- 
house for Miss Dwight's school. He has all the parochial 
duty to perform for the town, besides having weddings and 
funerals to attend in other towns." 

In June he "was called to the city of Philadelphia, to as- 
sist in organizing the first Congregational, or New England, 
church ever gathered in that city," and to preach the ser- 
mon on that occasion. It was arranged that during his ab- 



258 JOHN TODD. 

seiice he should leave his family Avith that of his father-in- 
law, who was called to the same council. " The children all 

dance at the idea of seeing Newington, except J. E. T ; 

he is too grave to dance." 

"June 24th. 

"All things look as if I should oiot go to Philadelphia. As 
I get away from the excitement and anxieties of the place, 
the more the difficulties seem to rise up, and the fear the 
ship can not weather the storms which are before her seems 
to increase. If I should go, the thing must go, or I must die 
in the attempt. But the hazard seems very great. The 
more I look at it, the more it seems doubtful whether they 
are sufficiently strong to weather the opposition which is 
coming, and to stand under the burdens which must come 
upon them as a matter of course. If they had not the united 
strength of Presbyterianism to contend with, and only the 
ordinary obstacles in the way, I should shrink less. Add to 
this, that my people here feel that it will be death to them, 
utter ruin, for me to leave them. I think the result will be 
that we stay where we are. The old Society here long 
to have me go, and would give all their old shoes to have 
me. This makes my situation here unpleasant, ^ery unpleas- 
ant ; but perhaps it is no reason why I should go. If I go, 
and lose in the opinion of men in this region, and then not 
succeed, it will very nearly destroy me, body and mind. 
Success, decided and splendid, and nothing else, would lead 
people to say and feel that I had done right in going. Is 
not the risk too great ? I believe that for once I am less 
sanguine than you are." 

*' July 17th. 

"After many tears, and morq fears, I have decided that I 
ought to go to Philadelphia. The committee have been 
here ; they met Doctor Beecher at my house, and he put in 
his oar, and rowed like a good fellow on their side of the 
boat. My brethren in the ministry have all set in, and said 
that such an opening has never before taken place ; that it 
is of immense importance to man that post with one who 
has had some experience, and who can bear to be crowded 
and pushed, without shrinking or sinking under it, and that 
it is most clearly my duty to go. There are at this time no 
less than twenty-three agents in New England, begging for 



I 



LIFE AT N0RTHA2IPT0X. 259 

' the fav and tlie great West.' I most deeply feel that if our 
country is ever saved, and her institutions made permanent, 
Xew England, under God, must do it. As she must lift and 
labor untiringly for generations to come, it is highly desira- 
ble to have her distinctive character, her institutions, and 
her churches all move South and West, as fast as the provi- 
dence of God shall open the way. After mature reflection, 
I have thought it my duty to go. My people are all weep- 
ing and groaning ; and my dear wife weeping and down- 
spirited, and feeling dreadful because we must go. She 
sees not a ray of light, nor a single thing which is not un- 
desirable, hazardous, and dark. I already feel a burden rest- 
ing upon my shoulders whicli is truly oppressive. It will 
be a gloomy time for me for several months to come. But 
I try to kee]) jijj good spirits." 

"October 6th. 

"My dear Sisters, — For several months past I have been 
in the sorrows of tearing away from a most devoted and af- 
fectionate people, and the place has been a Bochim. I be- 
lieve DO minister and no people were ever more happy in 
their connection than we have been, and for a long time it 
seemed to me that I could not make a sacrifice so great. 
To-morrow we set out for Philadelphia, amidst the tears of 
my people and in full grief ourselves. I take my wife, who 
is a universal fevorite in this place, four children (the young- 
est a quiet little girl a few weeks old, Sarah Denman by 
name), and two domestics, making eight in the whole. I 
have sold my house, without much loss, and have sent on 
our furniture and books — five tons ! They are building me 
a most beautiful church, the largest in the city. My salary 
is two thousand dollars a year ; but when j^^ou recollect 
that the rent of a house is five hundred dollars, and other 
expenses proportionate, you will not envy me my salary. I 
even doubt whether it is as good as my salary here. Be 
this as it may, it has had no influence on my decision. I 
have never tried to make or to save money, and I certainly 
have not been successful in doing either. God has hitherto 
given me a comfortable home, and bread to eat, and, further- 
more, I ought not to care, if I may do any thing for him." 

Undoubtedly one of the greatest sacrifices of Mr. Todd's 
life was made when he left Northampton. He had just 



260 JOHX TODD. 

established himself in a delightful house of his own, in one 
of the most beautiful and cultured towns in New^ England. 
"The whole land could not, probably, present a sweeter 
home than was mine." He was surrounded by a large con- 
gregation of young and active people, worshiping in a new 
and beautiful house, and showing him every possible kind- 
ness, affection, and devotion. He had not yet been with 
them long enough for a single one of those clouds to rise 
which are sure, sooner or later, to throw a more or less tran- 
sient shadow upon every pastorate. In the older parish, in 
spite of some inevitable jealousies, he was hardly less hon- 
ored than in his own ; and in the whole community he en- 
joyed a wide and growing influence and popularity. On 
the otlier hand, he felt to his home and to his people the 
tenderest attachment. He had watched and prayed and 
wept over the church from its very cradle ; many of its 
members were the fruits of his ministry ; among this people 
he had spent some of the best years of his manhood, and 
done some of the most important work of his life ; their 
sympathies and affections had brightened his happy home, 
and comforted it in scenes of deep distress. From the midst 
of the toils and turmoils of the great city, and the troubles 
which came upon him there, he often turned back in mem- 
ory to "the green pastures" of Groton and "the still wa- 
ters " of Northampton. 

"O flocks, led l3y my inexperienced youth, kind to for- 
give my many imperfections, ready to sustain me by your 
confidence and love — O flocks, dear to my memory as the 
apple of my eye, may peace rest upon you, and a light from 
your altars, pure and bi-ight and beautiful, go up and spread 
wide over the sweet hills and valleys which surround you !" 



i 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 261 



CHAPTER XIX. 

LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 

A new Sunday-school. — A new Church. — A new Pastor. — Helps. — Hinder- 
ances. — Installation. — Salting a Elver. — A bitter Minister. — Solemn ^Meet- 
ings. — Lectures on Sunday-schools. — Paul for a Colleague. — Panic. — Two 
General Assemblies. — No Salary. — A sad Journey. — The morning Cloud. — 
Dedication.— The Spark.— A Howl.— Take it Coolly.— Galvanism.— The 
Dutchman's Horse. — Gathering the Harvest. — Resolving. — Work accom- 
plished. — Sabbath School Teacher in London. — Mustard-seed Souls. — To 
the Editor of the Keepsake.— Liio, of Scott.— Reminiscences.-Will not be 
Soured. 

The Clinton Street Church began in a Sabbath -school. 
A part of the teachers in the school connected with the 
Fifth Presbyterian Church, conceiving that their efforts were 
not sufficiently appreciated, but rather were opposed by 
some of the older members of that church, became dissatis- 
fied and seceded, and established an independent school. A 
place was found for it in "Union Hall," at the corner of 
Chestnut and Eighth streets, and it was soon comfortabl}" 
fitted up with the requisite benches and desk. The school 
opened with good numbers and every promise of success ; 
and the attendance soon became so large that it y>'as thought 
desirable to have preaching also in the hall from time to 
time, as preachers could be secured ; and it was not long be- 
fore there began to be talk of organizing a new church. 
The quarrel between the Old and the Xew School parties in 
the Presbyterian Church was at this time just at its height, 
and many minds, weary of dissension, were beginning to long 
for repose. The teachers in the new Sabbath-school, in ad- 
dition to this feeling, had, as they conceived, suffered a spe- 
cial injury at Presbyterian hands. Several of them were of 
Xew England birth ; and it was natural, therefore, that they 
should look favorably upon the Congregational system, un- 
der which the churches of Xew England were at that time 
enjoying a peace which was unusual, and which contrasted 
strikingly with the storm that was rending the Presbyterian 
Church asunder. It was determined to orsjanize a Conojre- 



262 JO EX TODD. 

gational church ; and as the leaders of the movement had 
ah-eady begun to look upon Mr. Todd as a man specially 
fitted, by his talents and experience, to conduct it successful- 
ly, he and a few personal friends of his were summoned as a 
council to organize it. The services were held in the even- 
ing of June Vth, 1836, in the Presbyterian church on Arch 
Street, above Tenth, which had kindly been tendered for that 
purpose ; and, in the presence of a large and attentive con- 
gregation, twenty- six persons — thirteen of each sex — were 
constituted the First Congregational Church in Philadelj^hia. 
Four days later, Mr. Todd was unanimously chosen pastor, 
to his great surprise and against his wishes. He could not 
for some time see that it was his duty to accept the invita- 
tion, and in the end he was influenced more by the judg- 
ment and wishes of others than by his own. But no sooner 
was his acceptance received than the new movement began 
to be pushed with great vigor. A large building-lot was 
secured at the corner of Clinton and Tenth streets, plans 
were adopted, a subscription-list was opened, and soon filled 
to within ten thousand dollars of the estimated cost, and 
ground was broken, and operations commenced at once. The 
corner-stone was laid on the 18th of August ; and it was 
promised that the rooms in the basement should be ready 
for occupancy before winter. 

There were several things which conspired to make the 
movement a great success. The men who were engaged in 
it were for the most part young and enterprising business 
men, and some of them were wealthy enough, as was sup- 
posed, and as they supposed, to carry the whole load, if nec- 
essary, without assistance. There were many New England 
people in the city to welcome a church such as they had 
been brought up in ; and the Presbyterians recognized the 
propriety of their having such a church, and, so fiir from 
opposing it, were ready to offer their houses of worship for 
the use of the new church, when occasion demanded. At 
the same time, the dissensions among them led many of them 
to welcome a peaceful refuge. To all this must be added 
the novelty of the thing, the attractiveness of the new edi- 
fice and its appointments, the activity and life of the congre- 
gation, and, not least of all, the popularity and power of the 
new pi'eacher, now at the heiglit of his fame and abilities. 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 263 

On the other hand, there were elements combining to 
bring the new movement to ruin. The church became in- 
evitably, under the circumstances, a kind of Cave of Adul- 
1am, for the gathering of the disaffected and difficult ones 
from all the churches, and was, therefore, in its composition 
heterogeneous and inharmonious. Its origin as a Sabbath- 
school lent it some unfavorable features. It stood apart 
from the influence and sympathy of other churches of the 
same kind, and was in a community, and was composed of 
men, not practically used to Congregationalism. The Pres- 
byterian churches around it, though ready at first to toler- 
ate it, were, naturally, sure to become jealous and fearful of 
it, as it rose in importance and began to draw upon their 
own strength ; and were sure to be none the less, but rather 
much the more, hostile to it for their own hostility among 
themselves, even as a quarrelsome couple unite in falling 
upon an unlucky intruder with all the more unanimity and 
violence for their mutual anger toward each other. And, 
finally, unseen and unexpected by any one, there were now 
rapidly advancing and already near at hand those commer- 
cial tempests of 1837 which were to sweep away and sink 
in their waves all but the very strongest institutions. But 
none of these difficulties appeared at first. The success of 
the new undertaking seemed certain; and passers-by beheld 
with amazement the rapidity with which the walls rose 
where Xew England had planted her foot. 

"On the evening of November iTth, 1836, the services 
of installation took place in the First Presbyterian Church 
(Rev. Albert Barnes), which was kindly and generously 
placed at our service, in the presence of a large and intelli- 
gent audience. The sermon was by Rev. John Brown, D.D., 
of Hadley, Massachusetts. After the installation of the pas- 
tor, the church continued to worship, as before, in Union 
Hall, the congregation and the Sabbath -school steadily in- 
creasing, till April 2d, 1837, when they removed to the base- 
ment story of the new house of worship, seven months after 
the corner-stone was laid. At this time there were about 
one hundred children in the Sabbath-school." 

" December 27th, 1836. 

"I sometimes think there is an increasing degree of spir- 
ituality and of solemnity — full meetings, solemn and still; 



264 JOHX TODD. 

but in a city it is so difficult to have impressions abide. 
The same seriousness and attention in the country would 
have produced a revival ; but not so here. You cast the 
salt into the water, and soon see that you are trying to salt 
a river; it all runs away at once. What shall a minister 
do to save sinners ? is the greatest question that ever came 
before my mind. How to answer it, or what to say, I know 
not ; but still I go on, laboring and hoping. Why did they 
have such powerful revivals in the days of Edwards and 
Bellamy ? Was it owing to the men, or to the counsels of 
God ? Xext Sabbath we have our communion ; seventeen 
added to our church, coming from the four quarters of the 
earth. The roof of the church is nearly covered. It will 
be a most noble and beautiful building. I should feel 
proud of it, did I not daily, hourly, and almost momently 
think how little I am doing to fit worshipers for the spir- 
itual and glorious Temple above. When I think of my 
opportunities, and my doings, and the results of my labors, I 
am astonished and ashamed." 

" January 31st, 1837. 

" Mr. 1 Do you remember how I asked him to give 

me the 'right hand' — how he groaned in spirit over Phila- 
delphia and Presbyterianism — how his soul yearned in be- 
half of true Congregationalism ? Well, he has come to the 

Presbyterian Church, and when installed did not even 

ask me into the pulpit, though I dismissed my congregation 
(Sabbath evening), and went with my people; and there is 
not a church or a minister in the city so bitter against us as 
they are. Poor human nature ! Such things do not trouble 
me in the least. I am hardened to all such treatment, and 
expect it as a matter of course, and care no more about it 
than if the wind changed — suppose I am too prqud to care. 

"Our meetings are full, crowded, still, solemn as the 
grave; and several have lately, as we hope and trust, 
passed from death unto life. Some of the most interesting 
conversions I ever saw have taken place. They appear ex- 
ceedingly well, though the manner in which the Spirit led 
them is as different from my former experience as city hab- 
its are different from those in the country." 

" February 20th. 

"My room will not hold my hearers. I am at work hard 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 265 

upon some lectures on Sabbath-sehools" (afterward published 
under the title " Sabbath School Teacher"); "each is over 
one hour long. They seem to attract great attention. The 
ministers stand off, and I care not a pin for it. I should say 
that my prospects for usefulness were never so good, and 
growing better every day. My church is in more danger of 
being ruined by wealth and fashion and splendor than any 
thing else. It is amazing hard work to keep piety alive in 
this world. In the country they sleep it to death ; in the 
city they kill it by ice-creams and silks. I do wish I had 
Paul here for a colleague two or three years, that I might 
know what to do and what to say. I know I have not 
flinched as yet in my teaching and preaching." 

*' March aHh. 
" It is an awful time here with our business-men. Our 
merchants are in a panic, and failing. You can not con- 
ceive the distress which such a state of things produces. It 
is a matter of public prayer in all the churches. We hope 
it will be better soon." 

"April 25th. 

"I never had a conception of what was meant by com- 
mercial distress before the present time. There is no confi- 
dence in men. Tliose who are worth, could they collect it, 
hundreds of thousands of dollars, are breaking and crum- 
bling all in pieces. ISTone of my people have as yet gone by 
the board, though I should not be surprised if they all should. 
It is no matter of surprise to hear that the heaviest, wealth- 
iest, oldest, and most noble houses in the land have been 
crushed. The worst of it is, the storm seems to thicken, and 
no end is yet seen to it. Xo class of men, no individual, is 
unaffected, or escapes loss and suffering, more or less. I 
tremble at times for ray church, but trust its foundations rest 
on eternal Love, and that earthly storms will not rock it." 

" May 30th. 

"The General Assembly are in session, full of quarreling, 
and wrath, and strife on both sides. The probability is 
now that they will divide and have two General Assemblies, 
rending through the middle. I have attended the meetings 
some, have become indescribably disgusted, and am thankful 
that I do not serve under their banners. 

"We receive no salary; but on this subject I am never 



266 JOHN TODD. 

low-spirited. I work too hard to starve; and as to the rest, 
God will direct. My children can not be poorer than I was ; 
they will not work liarder than I have done ; and need not 
be more prospered to be happy." 

Fro7n 3Irs. Todd. 

"September. 
" We have had most melancholy intelligence from Mr. 
Todd's oldest brother, William. He left the Black River 
country a few weeks since for Illinois; and after having 
traveled twenty-eight days, all their children (three in num- 
ber) were taken sick with dysentery, and died in the course 
of one week." 

:Fro)7i 3Ir. Todd. 

" My deae William, — The letter in which you described 
your afflictions and losses cost me many tears. I gave you 
all I could give you, my sympathy, my pity, and my prayers. 
It was indeed a most severe cup which you were called to 
drink; and I pray God that you may see the hand which 
smote, and be enabled to kiss the rod. You and your wife 
will indeed be lonely, and be pilgrims now ; but may I not 
hope that, since God has taken your treasures to heaven, 
there your hearts may be also ? The world will indeed look 
sad to you ; but you must look up to that brighter one above, 
where sorrow and sin and death shall be unknown. The great 
source of consolation is, that 'the Lord God omnipotent reign- 
eth.' His will is holy, his doings wise, his plans glorious." 

"September 25th. 

"My congregation is as great as can possibly be accom- 
modated as we now are ; and the probability is, that, when 
we get into our new church, we shall have a congregation 
as large as I or any other man can take care of We are 
most abundantly prospered. Tliere is so much solemnity in 
my congregation, that if we were in the country I should 
say we were about to have a revival; but here all is 'like 
the morning cloud, and the early dew, which goeth away.' 

" Thursday, the 9th of November, was spent as a day of 
fasting and prayer, preparatory to the dedication of the 
new church. The house was solemnly dedicated to Al- 
mighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, on the evening 
of November 11th." It was a rainy evening, but the house 
was densely packed. 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. . 267 

The sermon which was preached at the dedication by the 
pastor, and which was soon afterward published, was on the 
"Principles and Results of Congregationalism." It was 
written in no unkind or party spirit, and could not properly 
be regarded as an attack upon any other denomination. It 
was a simple comparison of Congregationalism with other 
church systems, in the light of historical facts which could 
not be denied. That with respect to it which was fairly 
open to question was merely, the expediency of preaching it 
just at that time and under the existing circumstances. 
The leading denominations in the city had seen this strange 
vine planted among them with comparative indifference ; 
but as they watched its rapid growth, and saw it in a single 
year taking a position abreast of the first churches in the 
city, their composure gave place to feelings of uneasiness 
and dislike, which increased till but a spark was needed to 
produce a general explosion. The opening of this splendid 
house wrought these feelings to the highest pitch, and the 
dedication-sermon was the spark. Upon its production one 
universal howl of rage went up from Presbyterians, Episco- 
palians, and Unitarians alike. " I have seen nearly twenty 
notices of my dedication-sermon, and nearly all fly right at my 
face." From this time the dislike of the other churches be- 
came more undisguised, and the path of the Congregational 
Church and its pastor became a more thorny one to tread. 

"December 10th. 

"If people see that they can nettle the minister, it at once 
gives them power and importance, which they are sure to 
exercise. The world will have weak women and stubborn 
men in it, at present ; and I am afraid that it will still have 
fools in it, though you and I teach the world better. So we 
must take it as we find it, and take it coolly. I have enough 
every week to throw me into the scarlet fever, if I did not 
stand still, and let Folly kick up her heels till she is tired, 
and then goes to be sick of a cold caught by the exercise. 
I have cares and anxieties, and constant demands, which 
make me haggard ; and yet I am as well off as a city minis- 
ter can be. God gives us, and all, their portion in due sea- 
son. Let us not be weary in well-doing." 

"March 1st. 

"We have, for the most part, been well, and are still so, 



268 JOHX TODD. 

by the blessing of God. The two eldest children, Mary and 
Martha, are at school, murdering Latin, and finding things in 
geography which Columbus himself would never have been 
able to discover. John E. reads and spells to his mother, 
runs over to the study, sings loud, preaches often, and bap- 
tizes multitudes of children. Sarah is full of life, frolic, and 
mischief, and has her mouth half full of teeth, some of which 
are those wonderful executioners commonly called douhle- 
teeth. We have been laboring for a revival^ but to no pur- 
jDOse. We visited all the members of the church ; we held 
prayer-meetings all over the city, six each evening ; we had 
a day of fasting and prayer; but — did you never hear of gal- 
vanism ? They can take it, and by it make a corpse laugh, 
and weep, and even jump upon his feet ; but after all it is a 
corpse still; there is no life in it. So it has been with us. 
The Spirit of God has not been given. Sometimes I feel dis- 
couraged, and wish I had the ' wings of a dove,' with which 
to i3y away. More, too : I feel sometimes as if I must drop 
all, and stop preaching forever. I know that we do not^:)r«2/ 
enough; but ichy we don't I do not know." 

"March 8th. 

"I have been hard at work, though to no very great pur- 
pose any way, since I wrote you. The fact is — there are tivo 
facts about it, both of which trouble me not a little. First, 
I have no time in which to do any thing ; and, secondly, I 
have no courage to do it, had I time. Like the Dutchman's 
horse, I am hard to catch, and good for nothing when caught. 
I wrsh I could live by three hours' sleep, and have vigor to 
give all the rest of the time to mental efforts; but, alas for 
me ! I have not much wide-awake about me, and what little 
of the 'everlasting go forward' I once had is about all run 
out. Did you ever feel young — I mean so that you could 
run a mile across lots and jump over every fence you met? 
Ah, those days ! when your lungs were young, and you could 
halloo; and your feet young, and you could jump; and your 
limbs all young, and you could bound! Oh, the hills over 
which I shouted and leaped in boyhood's green hours ! 

Could these hours return but for one day ! Ask W if Ae 

evev saw such days." 

"March 9th. 

"You surely have a revival, and a delightful one too. I 



I 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 269 

hope that your hopes may all, and more than all, be realized. 
I hope, too, that you will not call in much foreign help. As 
far as possible, do the work of gathering in the harvest your- 
self. It is no more evidence of the approbation of God, as I 
know of, to be permitted to gather than it is to sow the seed. 
Yet it is more delightful to our unbelieving hearts; and our 
people are apt to have their confidence in their minister great- 
ly increased if they see that he can gather in the harvest as 
well as sow. So far as my own exjjerience goes, it is well 
to bring the awakened sinner at once to the bar of God, and 
make him see how he looks in his sight. The difficulty is, 
that they mistake i77ipressio)i for conviction. It is a rock on 
which multitudes split. 

" To tell the truth, I am placed in new circumstances. 
Human nature does not seem to be the same thing here that 
it is in New England. Such a thing as real, deep conviction 
for sin I seldom find. Professors, in talking, praying, speak- 
ing in meeting, do not seem to feel that this is of any impor- 
tance. If they will only ^ resolve,'^ and 'make up their mind,' 
and all that, they feel that this is religion. I can not find as 
it has ever been the case that people here, in general, have 
had any conviction of sin previous to professing religion. 
And yet they appear well, and perhaps give as much evi- 
dence, taking the year in and out, that they rtre converted, 
as those in 'New England who are taught by law. What 
shall w^e think of all this? I confess I am at times at a dead 
loss what to think. That there is, comparatively speaking, 
no stability in such Christians is plain ; but I do not know 
but they are as stable in religion as in any thing about which 
they are no better informed. 

"Our Sabbath-school numbers four hundred, teachers and 
pupils. The House of Refuge (one hundred and fifty bad 
boys), a Sabbath-school at Hamilton village, the Alms-house 
(two thousand now in it), and twelve hundred inhabitants 
sujDplied monthly with tracts — all done by members of my 
church. My two theological students preach, in their way, 
at the Alms-house. We keep up eight or ten weekly meet- 
ings in the lanes and alleys of the city. So we are not ab- 
solutely idle. 

" I see that my ' Sabbath School Teacher' is reviewed in at 
least three monthly periodicals in London. They are in ec- 

18 



270 JOHN- TODD. 

stasies. You would smile to see how the Londoners puif 
what was written in my study in eighty-two days last win- 
ter. It seems certain, however, that the poor thing, fearful 
as you seemed to be about it, will revolutionize the whole 
system of Sabbath-schools in Europe. For good, or for evil, 
it will have a greater influence than any one thing I have 
ever done. 

" AVhy need people be so niggardly? If the possession 
of property shuts up the heart, I rejoice that I never possess- 
ed it, and pray God that he will never let me have any. I 
have no sympathy with stinginess^ and am thankful that I 
have never had to deal with mustard-seed souls." 

"March 12th. 
"7?ev. John A. Clarh^ 7iow in LondoJi: 

"Mt dear Sie, — Your good niece tells my good wife to 
tell me that if I write you a line, she can send it. Your 
*dear five hundred,' and more too, have been following you, 
and looking after you, and sending sighs, and good wishes, 
and tears. But your letters will tell you all this ; for if you 
are honest, you will tell me that you read my letter after 
all the rest. Now is it not so? As to your family, they 
will tell you all about them. They have been, and are, 
blessed, and you could not keep them any safer than your 
house has been kept. Your congregation are sticking to- 
gether like bees who are afraid to go out even in fair weath- 
er when the queen-bee is away. Even with all my popular- 
ity, I have not been able to steal a single sheep ! But, then, 
you know that your great 'canons' shut such heretics as I 
am out of your pulpit, and that gives me no chance. Don't 
you see that? Oh, how I do envy you, going and seeing, 
and seeing and going, looking in the very mouth of every 
lion, and, if you choose, pinching the tail of every monkey, 
seeing great folks and little folks, applying all the rules .of 
phrenology, and filling your mind with a world of half-form- 
ed impressions and shadows of images! What would I not 
give to be near you, and, like a good pump, sucking all I 
could out of you, and, like the said pump, proudly spouting 
it out as if my own ! But some birds are eagles^ and they 
fly as a matter of course ; while some are geese^ who are priv- 
ileged to twaddle and quack. I am like the latter — pro- 
vided, moreover, the feet of the said bipeds be frost-bitten. 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 271 

Well, see all you can ; stare ' right at ' every tiling ; and then 
come and tell us all about every thing. I envy you even 
three thousand miles oif. As to the ' Keepsake,' we have 
swept the net round a great way, and, as I think, shall gath- 
er in fish both good and bad. We shall have matter enouoh^ 
but some of it, unless they begin to print soon, will hardly 
keep. Some of it is like the old-flishioned New England 
pig-walnuts — very large, much ' shuck,' hard to crack, and 
very little meat in the nut. I shall do the best I can, and 
you will have the credit of it. I hope you will write the 
preface, and something which you see, ' et de omnibus rebus 
et quibusdam aliis.' I would not be in a hurry to get home, 
because I should want to recover my health, and because 
you will not be able to go to Europe again this season. 
Among your many handsome letters which now reach you, 
few will come from those who are more sincere than rav 
poor self when I say, God bless you most abundantly with 
every blessing, and fill you with joy in him." 

"March 17tb. 
"Have you read Lockhart's Life of Scott? If you have 
not, I want you should. You will be absolutely amazed 
that a man with so little learning, and what he had resting 
on so poor a foundation, could have produced such a sensa- 
tion among his species. He seems like a huge, splendid cas- 
tle resting upon a cob-house for its foundation. Read him. 
and learn what ' unaffected amazement ' means." 

To a former Parishioner. 

"March 26th. 
"Mt dear Friend, — For some days before Mr. B- 



came, I kept saying to myself, 'Surely W will write a 

few lines;' but he came, and your letter did not. Don't you 
suppose there was ever a pretty girl who gave her lover the 
go-by, and thought she was losing nothing ; but who, in aft- 
er years, thought to herself that she did a silly thing, and 
wished she had the orround to 0^0 over agjain ? I do not arer 
that this ever was so, but I do suspect it. Well, what then ? 
The moral is, if you and I let our friendship die away through 
sheer neglect, will not the time come when we shall wish we 
had been wiser? I have thrown away too many most valu- 
able friends, simply by neglecting them when circumstances 
separated us. Should I live to have the almond-blossoms 



272 JOHX TODD. 

on my head, I shall regret it. It gives me great pleasure, 
in reviewing the past, to know that in the intercourse which 
you and I have been permitted to enjoy, there never was 
any thing to mar our pleasures, or to give a sting to the 
memory of the past. My foolish pen can not tell how much 
I have loved you, nor how much I have enjoyed in your so- 
ciety. If I could 7101C enjoy it again, I should know how to 
cause our intercourse to be more useful to both of us. Do 
you grow old any in feeling ? Do you know it is almost 
two years since I began to be taken away from your socie- 
ty? Shall we meet next summer? Shall we have a week, 
or a fortnight, of solitude, where we can hide and be out of 
sight? Is the romance of life all used up with you? I be- 
gin to find myself a strange compound of selfishness and 
generosity, ambition, and indifierence to men's opinions, a 
timid hare, and yet a dreadnaught; in short, such a fellow 
as you never saw before. Yet I like you^ and I wish I were 
near you, and could keep near you. To return to ' the said 
girl,' as you lawyers say, does she not sometimes, just at 
dusk, when weary, hang over the window and say to her- 
self, ' Why doesii't he come ?' Even so I have been saying 
about you, ' Why doesii't he come and see us ?' I have been 
saying so for more than a year. When tcill you come ? Is 
it spring with you ? Do the birds sing, or the frogs peep ? 
Here^ nor spring nor summer, fall nor winter, comes to us. 
The wheels rattle over pavements; the sweeps, and the fish- 
carts, and the oyster-carts bawl (not the carts, though, but 
creatures about as stupid), and this is our variety. I have 
been almost the whole winter sick. One more such winter 
will, I fear, finish ofifmy preaching — sore throat, sore throat ! 
and Mrs. Todd, I fear, Mill never enjoy health here. Love 
to your family, and to all inquiring friends." 

" March 29th. 
My congregations are very large, attentive, apparently sol- 
emn ; but, alas ! there is nothing permanent in the impres- 
sions which they receive. But God has dealt with us in 
great mercy in the past, and for the future we must trust 
him. I have taken no notice of the severe things said about 
my dedication sermon. Years ago I made up my mind not 
to be soured by any thing which might be said against me, 
and I have never reorretted this resolution." 



LIFE AT rniLADELPHIA, 2V3 



CHAPTER XX. 

LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA — Continued. 

The old Gun.— Annealed Wire.— The Dinner-set. — Measles. —A new House. 
—To Miss Beecher.— The Clam split open.- The Maple Molasses.— Lungs 
of Leather. — Cliolera Infantum. — Dispatch. — Anguish of Spirit.— Robert 
Hall.— Bowditch.— The plucked Rose.— The still, small Voice.— Nesting 
out of the Pulpit.— Not Paid.— A young Ladies' School.— A Boys' School. 
— A daily Newspaper. — To Mrs. Palmer. — Congregationalism. — Preaching 
Sovereignty. — Trials of building a new Church. — Swine and the Water. — 
Genius.— Boys' Education.— Sighs for New England. 

To s. a B . 

"April 9th, 1838. 

"My brain is much like the pan of an old gun which I 
used to tug round in my boyhood — so leaky, that when I 
attempted to get her off the priming was sure to be gone. 
When I have thought of writing to you, I always seemed to 
be full, too full ; but now I scratch my head in vain to find a 
single idea suitable to so important an occasion. I am de- 
lighted with your discussions in the theological chamber, 
and not a little astonished that the walls of the citadel 
should so soon shake, Xot that I would insinuate that your 
battering-ram is not of the first power; but still, I had sup- 
posed the walls were built of chains instead of stones, and 
that while you could easily make them clink and rattle, it 
would not be so easy to overthrow them. So far as accu- 
racy of thought and of definition (a very difficult thing for 
an undisciplined mind), and clearness and distinctness of 
conception, are concerned, the discussion will be useful to 
you. As to the effect upon the moral feelings, I should 
think it about as good as chewing aimealed wire for food 
for the body. But 'have at them.' You have them on the 
right ground; and if the jackdaw will strut in the feathers 
of the peacock, he must not complain that he is called -^i jack- 
daw after the borrowed feathers are plucked off." 

"April 13th. 

"Xow and then I put my phiz into a bookstore ; but men 
of that stamp dare not import a single book, even if you ad- 



274 JOHN TODD. 

vance the money : they think the ocean will shortly cease 
to bear up ships, and that our Government can reverse the 
very laws of nature if they please. Our ' Nic ' [Nicholas 
Biddle] says we are to have no specie at present, and the 
very boys who get married pay their wedding fees in a de- 
preciated currency. They have been giving 'Nic' a dinner- 
set of silver, said to have cost twenty thousand dollars. It 
is superb, of course ; but what loould the world say if such 
an offering should be made to any other priest, equal to that 
which they thus make to this great high-priest to Mammon !" 

" April 24tli. 
"We have been sick, sick, sick. John was seized with 
the croup, about three weeks ago, accompanied with a high 
fever. He is now just getting out of his room; and if he 
does not take more cold in this doleful weather, we trust he 
will shortly be well. Then Sarah was taken sick, and went 
through a siege of medicine. And then Joab, who is still 
on the sick-list, and looks bad enough for any two dead 
men." [The poor lame boy, who spent a year in Mr. Todd's 
family in Groton,had taken the valedictory at Yale in 1837, 
and from that time made Mr. Todd's house his home.] 
"You hear the rattling of vials and spoons, and see the 
i-anges of pill-boxes, and you would think we were indeed a 
hospital. J and S do our singing on ordinary oc- 
casions ; and while we can hardly raise sound enough to get 
through a prayer-meeting, we propose to give an oratorio 
which will electrify the city. We are compelled to move 
out of our house ; and what will surprise you is, that, char- 
acteristic of my rashness, I have bought a new house. It is 
the first house in Clinton Street east of Tenth — just finished, 
and now being fitted for our occupancy. It is, as I believe, 
most thoroughly, and, as I knoio^ most beautifully, built. Is 
it not a bold undertaking to try to shoulder a debt of eight 
thousand dollars ? It does not worry me in the least, nor 
will it. No change is or can be great here ; none can come 
unexpected ; nothing surprises us ; there is nothing new. 
Solomon must have lived in a city when he preached so elo- 
quently, and in the country when he compared his beloved 
one's nose to Mount Carmel. Most of our earthly joys are 
in expectation, and we find it much easier to sell the skin 
than to hunt the bear." 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 275 

"April 26th. 
^'Jliss Catharine E. Beecher, Walnut Hills, Ohio : 

"Dear Miss B., — Yours of the 9th reached me in due sea- 
son, but your manuscripts did not get to me till this blessed 
day. Harriet ought to thank her stars, or somebody else, 
that she did not live in the days when they hung witclies. 
She surely would have been hung. Three babies in two 
years ! and yet write a volume before breakfast ! She is a 
strange one ! I always did like her, i. e., ever since I knew 
her, and at those seasons when I could get her to talk, and 
am determined to like her pieces, though, according to your 
request, I do not stop to read them before I answer your 
note and tell you they are safe. They are in season, and 
though I have enough for two volumes at least, yet much 
of it will hardly keep through the hot weather. You can 
hardly conceive what mawkish stuff can be written, if one 
has a gift that way ; and yel some of this was promised to 
be inserted, by Mr. Clark, befoi-e he left the country. I 
charitably hope he made the promise when the docket was 
low. I feel disappointed in not having something from 
your pen. I will 'keep the polls open,' as they say at elec- 
tions, to the last moment possible, waiting for your ' tale,' 
and 'poetry' to be measured by the yard! Just recollect 
that when we buy by the yard, we get the best quality off 
the first end of the piece. If I can not keep a place for you, 
I shall be more sorry than you will. When I think of the 
amazing ease with which ink flows from your pen, and how 
well it reads, I often think, What ails her? why doesn^ 
she write more ? I have read Professor Stowe's report with 
admiration. It is noble, and will do immense good in this 
country. In looking over ' auld lang syne,' I find I have 
corresponded with him, but never, as I recollect, seen him. 
I hope I can not say this many years longer. Your father's 
lectures! wonderful man! he keeps on the wing untired, 
and goes up higher, and sees wider and wider into the ways 
that are everlasting, as he grows older. His eye was never 
keener, his flight never more lofty, his strong powers never 
more gigantic, than at this moment. ' O mihi tam longas 
maneat pars ultima vitte !' " 

"May loth. 

"This buying a house, and fitting it up, drain a poor 



276 JOHX TODD. 

man's purse. But we have a good and a beautiful home. 
If we may enjoy health and do good, other tilings are of 
small consequence. I have enough to do, and tar too much. 
My congregation seems to be wonderfully growing in repu- 
tation and popularity in the city; but this I attribute to my 
beauty. Now, is not this insufferable, to talk so much about 
ourselves? But do remember that we have not a cat, nor a 
hen, nor even a peacock, else to talk about, and what shall 
\ye do ?" 

"May 29th. 
" Joab had a siege with the measles. For a long time no- 
body could tell what ailed him. The first day he was able 
to be out, and the very day before John and Sarah were 
taken, we moved — or, rathei-, we tumbled along the street, 
out of one house into another. Such a woi'ld of furniture 
and trumpery ! Where it came from, and of what possible 
use it could be, was more than I could tell. But we had it, 
and must move it, and move it we did. We are now in the 
house, and it is a most beautiful and convenient one, very 
far exceeding any thing we ever had before. I hope we 
shall be thankful for it. We have had a world of company, 
fi'om the four quarters of the earth, and are in no danger of 
being delivered. For about ten weeks we have had severe 
sickness, and during that time never had a good night's 
rest. We have here two General Assemblies of the Presby- 
terians. Both claim to be the real Assembly ; and it is amus- 
ing to see a farce so solemn, and in many respects so poorly 
played. I laugh at them, and tell them that they are now 
like a clam which is split open, and are quarreling to see 
which is the upper shell, when the meat is gone out of both." 

To J. H. B . 

"June 13th. 
"I have, as usual, many kindnesses to acknowledge from 
you, such as a little barrel of maple molasses, the draft for 
one hundred dollars, etc., all of which came in due season, 
and for all of which I return you special thanks. I hope 
that whoever has the honor to write my biography will not 
forget to commemorate the kindness oi thee .^ mine publisher. 
The molasses has been a great affiiir with ns, comprehending 
in itself, and therefore a substitute for, almost every thing. 
'Mrs. Todd, have you no preserves for tea?' 'Oh, you see 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 2/7 

the molasses.' * You liave forgotten to set on the cake, Mrs. 
Todd.' 'Xo, but the molasses is a substitute.' 'But we 
have no smoked beef, or cheese, on the table.' She points 
to the molasses. So it is like the Irishman's shirt, ' victuals 
and drink, and pretty good clothing.' 

"E. H is making- 2^ first-rate singer I a voice that Her- 
cules might covet ! I tell him he may sell his lungs for 
leather, at a great price, after he has done with them." 

"June 30th. 

" Within a few days past, little Sarah has been quite ill. 
If she gets no better within a day or two, I shall try to get 
the family off to you on next Tuesday morning, for if the 
summer complaint be once fixed upon a cliild here, it is cer- 
tain death. Joab will accompany them, as I must not leave 
at present." 

The little one grew worse so fast that the departure was 
hastened, and Mr. Todd accompanied the family. On the 
way it seemed impossible for the child to live from hour to 
hour. She was so weak that her father carried her on a pil- 
low, and in tlie crowds held the pillow up above the peo- 
ple's heads, lest she should lose her breath forever. In Xew 
York, " When my whole family were shut up in a stage at 
the steamboat-landing, at the end of the wharf, the horses 
began to back the carriage; and had they gone six inches 
farther, they would all have been precipitated in the deep 
waters, and undoubtedly have found a watery death." In 
the air of Xew England the sick child at once revived, and 
her father hastened back to the city for a few days longer. 

" October nth. 

"It is absolutely impossible for any one who does not 
live in a great city to conceive of the multitude of things 
which cut up all our time, weary the spirits, exhaust the 
mind, and corrode the heart. I accidentally cast my eye on 
an old letter, written many years ago by Doctor Porter, of 
Andover, in which he is kind enough to say that they 'never 
had a man of Mr. Todd's age who, in a given time, could 
do so much, and do it so well.' This is too high praise; 
but if I have any one gift peculiarly my own, it is dispatch. 
But even that avails nothing here. I never lie down with- 
out having conscience reproach me for not having done at 
least four times what I have done ; and I never rise in the 



278 JOHX TODD. 

morning without feeling that I can not do what I must 
during the day. 

"There is nothing interesting among my people, except- 
ing an indescribable anguish of spirit which I have felt for 
them for some weeks past. I write my sermons and preach 
as pointedly, as plainly, and as solemnly as I know how; the 
congregation is full, very large, and vei'y attentive, and ap- 
parently solemn ; but there is nothing that abides ; in a few 
hours it is all gone. I am now laying my plans to make a 
great eflort to improve the spiritualit}" of my church. If 
these plans fail, it now seems as if my heart would also fail. 
A few days since was my birthday. I solemnly dedicated 
all that I have anew to God, and consecrated the remainder 
of my life to him. I have prayed for this flock, now a great 
flock, and every week increasingly so. My people feel that 
I am to fill the church with people, pay for it all at once, 
support the concern itself: this is the first and great work; 
and, subsidiary to this, I am to carry them to heaven, while 
they live entirely to the world, and am to convert the con- 
gregation also. To do their part of this immense work, they 
are jealous of each other, afraid that one or another will have 
too much notice, or they too little, and then they wonder why 
the minister does not accomplish more. It is a dreadfully 
hard field in which to do good. If it were allowable to 
preach pretty and fashionable sermons, to eat and to drink 
good things, and not to deal with the sins of men, I could 
get along and do well. But my desire and aim and stand- 
ard is, to see my church become spiritual, and my congre- 
gation savingly converted. This must be done, or I shall 
sink under my labors. Do not fail to let us have your 
prayers. We have not a single leaf in the mulberry-tree 
that shakes, and not the least breath from the Spirit of God. 
I think that I desire one thing above all others, and that is, 
that I and mine may be holy. 

"I have had the luxury of reading a few hours to-da}^, 
under a sick headache. I have re-read the life of Robert 
Hall. I felt that I envied him, and wished that I could 
preach like him, till I came to John Foster's wonderful dis- 
section of liiiu as a preacher, and then all my envy was 
gone. He is immeasurably distant from being a model for 
the ministry. If all could and did preach just as he did, it 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 279 

seems to me the day of the world's conversion would be 
distant. 

"3Iany thanks for a copy of 'Eulogy upon Bowditch.' A 
wonderful man ! Very few sons of a poor cooper could rise 
by their unaided genius and industry to accomplish what 
he accomplished. I sat down at once, and read his memoir 
with astonishment, tind with sorrow too, to think that a mind 
so gigantic, clear, and discriminating should pass through 
life and go into the eternal world giving so small evidence 
of knowing Jesus Christ, ' whom to know is life eternal.' I 
should hope that his eulogists have left out something, and 
that such a noble spirit has not gone to the presence of God 
clothed in the poor garments of its own righteousness." 

" October 19th. 

"Poor H ! poor orphans I seven of them ! Xothing 

for a long time has affected us like the death of this lovely 
woman, and this warm, constant, and sincere friend of ours. 
Her sun set suddenly, but in glory. The earth can show 
but few like her. I love to dwell upon her sweet image, 
which will never fade from my mind and heart; and to 
thank God that, among all his mercies to me and mine, he 
has permitted us to know and enjoy such a friend. I can 
not yet realize that the blow is struck, and the rose has been 
plucked from the sweet buds which clustered around it, and 
is now withered and gone. Xo, it is not dead. The hand 
of Love has carefully shaken the dust from it, and trans- 
planted it into a world where the wind shall not shake it, 
where the storm shall not bruise it, where the dust of earth 
shall not defile it. The spirits of but few, as I believe, ever 
went more directly nj), or were at once admitted nearer to 
that blessed One, whose prayer, 'Father, I will that they 
also, whom thou hast given me be with me where I am,' has 
now been so unexpectedly and mysteriously answered." 

To a Parishioner at the West. 

"Xovember 13th. 
"In that land where all goes by impetus, and all is mov- 
ing, do not forget to ask for that 'still, small voice,' which 
is not heard in the crowd, which can not be heard except 
when the heart is withdrawn from the world, and Avhich is 
always given for the asking. Ask for yourself, and for me, 
and for this church." 



280 JOHN TODD. 

" November 28th. 

"To-moiTow we are to have a day of Thanksgiving in our 
church, to keep time with our father-land, New Enghand. 
We are determined to bring New England this way as fast 
as we can. The Lord only can aid us to do it in reality. 
The proposal in my church took well, and I encourage every 
thing that tends to give the New England stamp to my 
church. As to our situation, I can hardly say what it is. 
My church is coming up in influence and character, and in 
the confidence of the community ; and I suppose I am, indi- 
vidually, more known in the city at the present time than 
ever before. But I have my trials, and they are neither few 
nor small. Our congregation is large and very attentive ; 
but there is no breath in this valley of dry bones, and I 
seem to beat the air. I work as hard as I can, and 'it prof- 
iteth nothing.' But results are not in our hands, and we 
ought to rejoice that they are not. Ministers come into my 
church and into my study, and envy me my situation; but 
they little know with what heaviness of heart I engage in 
my duties. I am trying to write a lecture for the Athenian 
Institute, but I have no heart for it, and it must be a failure. 
They will not allow me to introduce the subject of religion, 
and I am out of my element if you take me out of the pul- 
pit." 

To an absent Parishioner. 

" January 6tli, 1839. 

"A private word in your ear. If you ever go avvay again, 
I must go with you, or starve. My good people have not 
paid me a cent since you went away, and only nine hundred 
and fifty dollars in more than a year. I have been sorely 
pinched and perplexed ; but I have not said a word, nor 
shall I, and I beg you will not, before your return. They 
may do better before that time. The congregation was 
never so large before ; but there is no energy — no moving, 
active spirit. I believe I never stood better in their estima- 
tion, and I am sorry that I can not live on their esteem. I 
am invited everywhere to preach, but shall not go away 
from home at present." 

"January 22d. 
" I am trying to get up a young ladies' school con- 
nected w^ith my congregation. Miss G , formerly in 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 281 

Miss Dwigbt's school in Northampton, has been at ray house 
six or eight weeks. I do not know as I can carry out my 
plans. If I do, it will cost me sometliing personally ; but I 
am anxious to have it done, and if it ccvi be, it shall be. She 
commences her school on Wednesday next, under very good 
auspices." [The school was successfully established, and 
continued for a number of years, a school of a high order.] 
" Joab begins the same day. I will tell you how I went 
to work to accomplish an object. I wanted to get him a 
school here. He came, and I selected thirty or forty of my 
friends, to each of whom he sent a polite note, stating that 
he was going to open a school. To this note I appended a 
note of my own, stating his character, scholarship, etc. He 
commenced with two or three scholars. His prospects are 
fine, and I think he will shortly have at least a thousand 
dollars income. I have charged him nothing, except to have 
little John go over half an hour each half day and read a 
little lesson. I love to give my friends a lift as I can, and 
all I ask is, that when -i^get in the mire they will not forget 
me." [Mr. Brace, soon after this, had all the pupils that 
he wished, and his school continued in successful operation 
for some years after he, with Mr. Todd, had left the city.] 
"When Collins" [Mrs. Todd's eldest brother] " came, I took 
unwearied pains to introduce him to gentlemen of the first 
standing here, both by personal interviews and by letter. 
The result will be, I think, what I want, and have wanted. 
I think they will get up a new daily paper here, and make 
him the editor. They have not decided, but have gone so 
far as to have several meetings, and C. has drawn up a pro- 
spectus. I think it will go." [The JVorth American was 
soon afterward established on this basis, and still continues, 
united with tbe United States Gazette^ one of the leading 
journals in Philadelphia.] "I sometimes feel like sitting- 
down and having a hearty cry ; for I seem to have the fac- 
ulty and the opportunity to help others, but no faculty to 
help myself. 

"Deacon is in Europe. The last year he was scold- 
ing because I wrote books. He now writes from France 
that he receives great kindnesses and attentions because he 
belono-s to a Mr. Todd's church — Mr. Todd being^ extensive- 
ly known there by certain books which he wrote. So the 



282 JOHN TODD. 

world goes. I wish I liad pluck enough to write some 
more." 

To 3Irs. Doctor Palmer^ formerly of Charleston. 

"January 28th. 

" I have been hard at work, with little or no good result- 
ing. What hard work to convert the human heart ! I 
wish some of those new divinity folks who allow God only 
to permit^ while they decree^ w^ould come here and convert 
some of my hearers. It is more than Zcan do. 

"We have had some sickness, and I have had the dyspep- 
sia — the only fiishionable, genteel thing I ever had — and 
have stood still with both hands full. Yet I have found 
time to follow you in your dismal journey, your stages, your 
low river, and your new entrance into the Far West. I 
have felt very sorry for you; for I have too often been upon 
wheels, with all I had in the world on wheels with me, ainong 
strangers, and with a short purse, not to know how badly off 
we may be, and not to pity you. But I was glad that you 
could live it through, and from your last I gather that the 
good doctor is catching the spirit and enterprise of the 
West, and is again taking off his coat to go to work. I 
hope he may find the fountains of life replenished, and that 
he still has the arm to nerve a strong bow, and to send many 
arrows, with great effect. I suppose that you will not al- 
ways find there that Art has reared her temple on the dry 
hill of Zion, lighted with silver lamps and sweet-smelling 
oil ; but you will find enough to do ; and I pray that you 
may live long to do much of it, and have grace to do it thor- 
oughly." 

"February 14th. 

"I am poor, and always shall be: I have met with some 
losses by dishonest folks ; but I thank God that I never yet 
refused to aid a fellow-man, be he who he might, if I had 
any evidence that he deserved it, and if it was in my power 
to do it ; nor do I ever intend to." 

To Bev. S. G . 

"February 15th. 
"All Congregationalists profess to love Congregational- 
ism, and yet you could get them to yield no sympathy for 
Congregationalism; but show them a weak, devoted feeble 
Con2;reG^ational church, orq-anized and strua-Gjlino- for exist- 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 283 

ence, and you excite their sympathy. Tlie system is differ- 
ent from any otlier, Men will join (and figlit for, too) Epis- 
copacy or Presbyterianism or Methodism, but not Congre- 
gationalism. The very life and soul of the system consists 
in embracing men.^ and not an abstraction. In my experi- 
ence, you can do nothing toward raising a church unless 
there is enough of the self- moving spirit en the spot to 
make a fair beginning. Had the Xew England people sent 
me here to raise a Congregational church, and pledged me 
funds for support, I do not believe that in five years I could 
have got any foot-hold. The only hope of success was, that 
there was self-movement here : the people wanted such a 
church, and were ready to move and act, to labor and to 
give. But to this hour it remains an experiment. I started 
•here too weak, and would never do so again. We have 
been much prospered, but the trials through which we have 
passed, and must yet pass, are almost beyond what you can 
conceive of" 

"February 23d. 
" I have just organized a young ladies' Bible-class. We 
have sixty already, with fair prospects of many more. I am 
working with all my soul. Last Sabbath I threw my con- 
gregation 'all aback' by preaching on the sovereignty of 
God, and election. It shook the building terribly. Some 
cried, and some threatened, and some were grieved, and 
some were mad, and some were disappointed, and I? — no 
more moved by it than you are in Newington. I preached 
not only the truth, but truth that I am prepared to main- 
tain anywhere. I hope it will do good." 

To Rev. J. C. W . 

"March 3(1. 
" Let no man who values his soul, or his body, ever go 
into a great city to become a pastor. I thought I knew 
what hard work meant before I came here; but I did not, 
nor did I ever dream of it. I can not describe it to you ; 
but here every thing works on a different scale, and human 
nature is cast in a different mould, from what it is in New 
England. But it is unsanctified human nature, after all; 
and I sometimes feel as if I must cut every string and run. 
I have been here nearly three years, preach to a great con- 
gregation in a beautiful church, and have, generally, three 



284 JOHN TODD. 

or four theological students ; but oh ! the care and wear 
and tear, the tears and fears, the pulling and lifting, the 
creeping and weeping, the sighing and crying, necessarily- 
connected with raising up a new church in a great city, all 
alone, with none to love you, or aid you, or go with you ! 
I could tell you a long and a sad story. Yet we have been 
most abundantly prospered. We have exceeded the hopes 
and expectations of all ; and we have, on the whole, very 
far exceeded my own expectations. Yet if you were to see 
me, you would be surprised to see how many gray hairs 
cover my head, and how very old a man may become in 
three years. 

" I was, of course, not surprised to learn that you were 
dismissed; for I have ceased to be surprised at any thing, 
and, least of all, at any change in the ministry. God will 
overrule it all for good; and if you can find a snug place 
soon, you will find your materials of very great service to 
you. But when you settle again, do not lean too much 
upon old sermons, and become lazy; consider how poor they 
are, and how little execution they have done, and go to 
work and make better. They will be your ruin, if you lean 
upon them. I can not judge as to the causes which drove 
you away, or of your judiciousness. I have no reason, how- 
ever, to suppose that you were ?20^ judicious. At this day 
you will find breezes and storms everywhere, go wliere you 
will; and tlie great thing you need on such occasions is, to 
keep cool and self-possessed. Many a ship has outridden the 
storm, by the coolness of the captain, when the least worry 
or flurry in him would have thrown her on her beam-ends. 
This is a hard matter, and requires much manhood, much 
nerve, much philosophy, and more grace. As a genei-al 
thing, it is not best to reprove or instruct or reason with 
those who are fools, or drunk, or mad, or under any strong 
excitement. When the swine get to running, you can not 
stop them. Cold w^ater is the place where they must go. 
When the storm is over, and the passions are cool, and all 
parties are calm, then is the time to reprove and instruct. 
Had Christ reproved Peter in loords^ when he only put his 
cool eye upon him, very likely Peter had sworn at him !"" 

" March 7tli. 

"Doctor Johnson wrote a small but good book, to pay for 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 285 

putting his mother into the grave ; and I am writing a small 
and 2^oor book, to keep my mother out of the grave." 

To Mr. A. M . 

"March 7th. 
"If there is any one thing above all others which I am 
disposed to envy, it is the privilege of those who are now in 
our colleges and seminaries, preparing, under a stimulus al- 
most overwhelming, to act their part in human aftairs. Set 
your standard high. Fix your eye on a star far above the 
horizon, and take it not off. Study — hard, flesh-tiring study 
— is the only thing that can make men. Genius, like other 
ghosts, is much talked of, but seldom seen. The only gen- 
ius that I ever saw, worth naming, is the result of severe 
application. With this, success is within the reach of every 
.young man ; without it, it can seldom be obtained, and can 
not be permanent, if obtained. The intellect and the heart 
must be cultivated together; a divorce between them, like 
that between man and wife, is ruin to both." 

To Mrs. W . 

"March 15th. 

"Don't think of sending into a great city. If there 

be a spot on earth full of pitfalls and death-holes, it is the 
city. Bringing my children here was the greatest trial I 
had in coming ; and keeping them here is still the greatest 
trial I have. A boy of his age would be exposed to all 
manner of temptation unavoidably, and a world would not 
pay for the mischief which he might receive. Of all places 
in the world, Xew England is the place for education. It 
is the great school-house of the land ; and an education ob- 
tained there, and habits formed there, are vastly more val- 
uable than those of any other part of the land. I would not 
determine to educate my son unless he first gave evidence 
of piety. This may seem hard, but it is my deliberate opin- 
ion. The first thing a boy needs is a good, firm, powerful 
constitution icorked on him, so that in after-years he can en- 
dure great fatigue and labor. The next thing he needs is a 
firm, decided government over him, to which his will shall 
bow without any reserve, and with cheerfulness. The last 
thing (though the first in reality and in importance) is piety 
— a heart submissive and obedient to God. I know that if 
ever I have accomplished any thing in the world worth 

19 



286 JOHN TODD. 

naming, it is in a great measure owing to the fact that I 
loorked hard in my boyhood. I am persuaded that most go 
to college too young. You may not like my notions, but 
they are the result of experience ; and were they generally 
adopted, many a good Eli would be spared the sorrow of 
having sons who are ruined." 

To a former Parishioner in Nortliampton. 

"March 25th. 
"Those Market Street, 'cross-lot, run-over-the-way days! 
they were the honey-moon of life, and wnll never cease to 
live in my memory. Alas that a rainbow can not last ! 

You can not look back upon those days, dear W , with 

deeper emotions than I do. But we are bubbles, tossed 
about here and there for a few moments, and then we are 
gone forever. Oh that I could think that I had done one 
action, one deed, from a motive sincerely and truly good.^ or 
one thino^ that will live and do o-ood when I am ojone to 
the dead ! I am here yet, laboring sometimes amidst dis- 
couragements exceedingly great, and, then again, with much 
pleasure and some hope. If I were to live in this world only 
for this world, and were not a minister, and had no respon- 
sibility as to whether men went to heaven or not, I should 
like to live here, and should be very happy. But when it is 
my duty to see a great congregation prepared for heaven, 
and feel that I can not begin to begin to do it, the work is 
discouraging. I do rejoice, toto corde^ at the nplifting of the 
Edwards Church — that child of my heart ! May her banner 
wave gloriously long after you and I, dear friend, are forgot- 
ten on earth. No, no ! I have no desire for the West. When 
I think of rest, I think of a grave under some beautiful tree 
in dear New England (bah ! my eyes fill with tears at the 
name, though I do not speak it aloud), where I shall sleeji 
till the great morning of the great day of the great rising." 



I 



LIFE AT PHILABELPEIA. 287 



CHAPTER XXI. 

LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA — COntillUed, 

Revival.— " Truth made Simple."— Difficulties.— Young Men's Association. 
—A wonderful Meeting.— Quidnunc's Letters.— Bill3-.—A Day of Calam- 
ities.— A fearful Medicine.—" Oh, rise some other such !"— A great Pro- 
fession.— Quarrels.— Scarlet Fever.- Did what he could.— Five sick at 
once.— Sermons in the Sick-room.— What a Storm!— A hard Row.— 
The Place for Usefulness.— Italian Darkness.— A city Church.— Preaching 
of Doctor Kirk.— Dissatisfied Evangelists.— AbandoDed.— The resolving 
System.— Abundant Labors.— Never so Prosperous.— Varioloid.— A hard 
Year.— The lost Sister.— Disaffection.— Wholesale Lies.— Water on a Rock. 
—Threads of Gold. 

"May 6th, 1839. 
"All the wiDter and spring, the state of religion among 
my people has been most lamentably low. I have felt at 
times as if the waves of worldliness would go over and 
drown us. Over a fortnight since, I told my church that it 
seemed to me that we must perish. I urged them to have 
a prayer- meeting every evening during the week. They 
had not life enough to say no ; so the meetings commenced, 
m^iUj feeliiig opposed to them, many expressing regrets, and 
more feeling indifferent. The state of feeling was sensibly 
altered during the first week. One man, a professor of re- 
ligion, and captain of a Chinaman, Avas greatly awakened. 
He who had never dared to draw a full breath in a religious 
meeting, broke out and most eloquently described his feel- 
ings. It was electrical. At the close of the first week, I 
told my church that I had assumed the responsibility of the 
meeting for the first week, and now, if they continued, they 
must assume it for the second. During the last week a 
great advance has been made. Some of the church have 
been in deep distress ; some have been broken down, and 
given uj) their hopes; some have become active and wide 
awake. All feel that the Spirit of God is here. Yet the 
work has only just begun. I have an inquiry-meeting, which 
over twenty have attended. Of these perhaps half a dozen 
have a trembling hope of their conversion. Their convic- 
tions seem very deep, pungent, and sincere " 



288 JOHN TODD. 

To Mrs. Lucy C. Brace. 

"June 3d. 

"My dear Mother, — When I last saw you, you prom- 
ised, of your own accord, to read any book which I would 
write. You probably had no thought how soon you would 
be called upon to exercise the self- denial. I send you 
'Truth Made Simple,' and shall be glad to know what you 
think of it; and if it meets your approbation, I shall rejoice. 
Oh that I had a mother, whose smile would repay me as I 
laid at her feet my humble efforts ! But if I had, I probably 
should not have made an effort beyond my profession." 

" June 7th. 

"The secret of all the difficulty, and the apparent cause 
of my want of success among this people, is the jealousy 
of a few of them. They are not sensible of it themselves. 
Each one can see how the others are to blame, but see no 
beam in their own eyes. It seems at times as if I should 
sink under it. No one but myself knows, or can know, the 
difficulties of laboring as I am situated ; my church eying 
each other, and each afraid that his neighbor will do less 
than his part; the whole city crowding against us as inter- 
lopers ; the ministers all standing off; my time all cut and 
cross-cut up : I am down at heart and sick. Still, I must 
hold on as well as I can, and as long as a wise Director tells 
me to do so. 

"I am trying to get up a society of young men in the 
city, for the protection of young men who come here from 
abroad. It is to save thousands from ruin. I think it will 
go ; and if it does, it will be worth a year's labor. I don't 
know but my forte consists in setting things in motion. 

" I have just had a book-seller from London to see me, to 
make arrangements to publish ' Todd's Works,' as fast as 
they are written, in London. He seemed very much in 
earnest ; and I was sorry that I was so situated that I could 
not negotiate with him. But so is my fortune. It was j^re- 
dicted of me when a mere boy, that I was born to be poor." 

"June 9th. 

"A most wonderful meeting! full, solemn, impressive ! 
Between sixty and seventy in the inquiry-meeting, and the 
most solemn meeting that I have seen tliis year, or since I 
have been in the city. It took me and the whole church by 



LIFE AT PRILABELPHIA. 289 

surprise. I had preached all day on prayer — a very full 
house in the morning, but, owing to the rain, thin this after- 
noon. But what a meeting this evening ! I was tired, and 
went in, expecting to preach little or none ; but when I saw 
the house so full, I could not but preach. I can not but 
hope it is the beginning of a great work. It seems almost 
too much to hope, and yet how easy for God to do what 
we can not do ! I should hope great things, were there not 
great obstacles in the way ; but even these can be overcome 
by the power of God." These hopes were not fully realized. 
The heats of summer were at hand, and already the peoj^le 
were leaving the cit}^ A few weeks later, Mr. Todd sent off 
his family to their usual summer retreat at his father-in-law's, 
in Xewington, and himself, in company with his lame broth- 
er-in-law, took a long journey through the interior of Penn- 
sylvania. While on this tour, he wrote a number of descrip- 
tive letters which were published in the JVo/'th American, 
which stirred up quite a breeze. "Did you write a cer- 
tain Quidnunc's 'Letters from the Interior?' They raised a 
mighty storm, among the Pennsylvanians, about the fellow's 
ears ; but though six big guns were discharged at the fellow 
through the newspapers, yet I can not lind that they hurt 
him any more than Samuel's rifle did your cat." While trav- 
eling among the mountains in the interior, he came upon a 
deer-hunt. The hounds had started a little fawn; and just 
before he reached the spot, the little creature had leaped for 
refuge into the arms of a man by the roadside. He at once 
bought the little thing, and took it with him to his children 
at Xewington, with whom it was a great pet for two or 
three years, whenever they visited at their grandfather's. 
At last "Billy" became so troublesome, and even dangerous, 
that it was necessary to administer to him "euthanasia." 
His horns are still preserved among the family relics. 

The financial condition of the country, which had been 
improving since the panic of 1837, had now again become 
very bad, and threatened to be worse than ever. 

"September 26th, 

"It is wonderful to notice how in a commercial communi- 
ty every thing is cramped and straitened by a pressure in 
the money market. Every thing here looks blue. Xo mon- 
ey to be had, no debts paid, and every body feels as if he 



290 JOHX TODD. 

had just been eating new bread and could not digest it. 
The prospect is, there will be fearful times before it is all 
over." 

" October 14th. 
"The banks have all suspended, and we are in a dreadful 
condition. Merchants are failing, business at a stand, and 
every thing looks as if we were going to ruin. What will 
be the result God only knows. It sometimes seems as if my 
church would sink in the storm." 

" October 24th. 
" We live here in a day of calamities. You can hardly, 
nay, you can not.^ conceive of the distress into which the 
commercial world is at the present time thrown. Our banks 
are all down, our merchants are all stagnating, and every 
thing is as gloomy as you could wish. All the money we 
can get is reduced in value, and, indeed, we can hardly get 
money at any rate sufficient to go to market. The distress 
must and will go through the country, and every man, wom- 
an, and child must suffer. As to my church, I have stood 
looking as coolly as I could while the ship was sinking un- 
der me, and it seemed as if the next moment she must go 
down. I have expected it, and calmly went to the helm, 

anticipating this result. The failure of and the knock- 

ing-away of some other props let down a debt of twenty- 
two thousand dollars directly on the church, and nobody to 
sustain it. Xo one knew what to do. Some came and con- 
doled with me, and said very kindly that, when the church 
was sold, there were friends in the city who would give me 
another post ! In this emergency my daring came to my 
aid. On my own responsibility, and without any body's ad- 
vice, I wrote nearly a hundred notes, and called a meeting. 
There were over eighty present. I made a statement, and 
offered a plan of my own. It was a fearful medicine ; but I 
had made up my mind, and administered it as coolly as you 
could take a pinch of snuff. Most faint-hearted were the 
few who had an inkling of what I was at. Very few sus- 
pected. Most nobly did they meet me. Before we parted, 
twenty-one thousand dollars' worth of pews were sold. We 
are now to carry out the plan, and sell the other one thou- 
sand dollars' worth, and then the church is afloat ! She nev- 
er was so well off as at this moment. But it cost me some 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 091 

sleepless nights, a few more gray hairs, and one speech the 
like of which few ministers ever made. So you see I have 
gone to financiering, and doing the business of this world as 
well as my own. I have just received a call to go from this 
post ; but though I should like to go back to dear old New 
England, yet of course I can not think of it. I have pledged 
myself to stand by the ship, not only till she floats, but till 
she is in open sea, under full sail, and not a rock in sight." 
The sale of pews here mentioned amounted to nothing; the 
increasing financial commotion ruined some, and cramped 
others, of the purchasers, and the debt remained unpaid. 

'"October 27th. 

" \ye have no change and no money here. I married a lit- 
tle fellow last evening in my parlor, but can not spend his 
fee, because nobody can change a two-dollar bill. A sailor 
came to me lately, to have me tie him to an old woman, and 
gave me ten dollars in gold. 'Oh, rise some other such I'" 

''October 28th. 

"I esteem the pastoral oflice the highest and the holiest 
on earth, since the apostolic was laid aside.- It is one that 
God has appointed, and it is incomparahly the most impor- 
tant in the world. As long as God gives me health, I should 
not dare break my ordination-vows for any thing else. My 
heart and soul are in it, if in any thing, and it would be an 
unspeakable grief to me to be obliged to leave it." 

"November 2oth. 

"J is in real distress, without any mistake. He beg- 
ged for help; and I sent him twenty dollars in two hours 
after receiving the note. Bis dat qui citd dat. I have been 
hard drawn upon this year; and if, at its close, I have not 
fallen greatly behind, I shall rejoice and be disap»pointed; 
but I shall make it my rule to do for others as long and as 
far as my power extends, trusting that Providence will re- 
ward me by taking care of mine. "We have received great 
mercies; we have health, we are surrounded by comforts, 
and even luxuries ; and why should we grudge to do what 
little we can to make others happy ?" 

"December 21st. 

"I never knew what changes meant, till within a week; 
and I hope never to see another such week. First, there 
were tioo quarrels in my church, which were enough to sink 



292 JOHX TODD. 

it ; and I thought they would, and they came very near it, 
but we got over them by God's help. Next, we have two 
children now sick with the scarlet fever. This is the fifth 
day with Martha, and the third with Mary. Martha has 
been, and is^ very sick. I have been with them day and night 
for tlie last three days. We expect that John and Sarah will 
follow next, though perhaps a kind Providence will spare 
us. In the midst of all, this morning our dear little Lucy 
was born — a fat, plump, sweet child, who promises to bear 
up her grandmotlier's name with propriety. Just before 
all this, came the crash of the Schuylkill Bank — loss over 
$1,300,000— and all through the knavery of one man? The 
mightiest piece of villainy ever practiced in this country ! 
Thousands, and thousands of widows and orphans are ru- 
ined, for there they had invested their all. We have lost 
our little all. God grant that such distress may never again 
fall upon this city. We forget our individual sufferings in 
the general woe. My church is shaken to its foundations. 
Is it not wonderful that the pillars on which my church was 
reared should be thus swept away ? God only is wise, and 
good, and to be trusted. I am worn out, and sick of every 
thing I see ; but so long as God in mercy spares the lives of 
my family, I will not say one word. I hope whoever writes 
my history since I have been here, will be- able to say, 'He 
did what he could for that church.' If I can say this from 
the heart, I shall not need to say more." 

" December 31st. 
"Martha continued to droop and droop till she seemed al- 
most gone ; but is, we trust, now recovering, though she can 
not turn herself in bed. On Friday, Z was taken most vio- 
lently with chills and pains, and for forty-eight hours was 
in agony. Now I have begun to get off the bed, and nurse 
again over the sick. Last night, at midnight, John was tak- 
en, and, I suppose, must now go through a regular siege of 
scarlet fever. If our lives may be spared (oh, how easy to 
be reconciled, when we may thus make one great reserve !), 
we shall feel that God is dealing with us in great mercy and 
kindness. We have hul five at present who are confined to 
the chamber. Of these, three are with me, and over them I 
hang day and night. I count myself the fourth. If man at 
his best estate is altogether vanity, what is he at his lowest 



J 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 293 

and wealiest ? Did you ever read Charnock on Divine 
Providence? I have been tossing on my bed, and reading 
it in great pain of body, and yet great mental delight." 

" January 6tb, 1S40. 

"John is very low — so much so that I should not be sur- 
prised were he to be taken away at an hour's warning. I 
dare not tell Mrs. Todd how I feel, lest it injure her. Tlie 
poor little emaciated groaner I you would not know him. 
He is out of his head most of the time, but even then tells 
me that he says his prayers softly. Martha sits up fifteen 
minutes in the day. I have had my clothes ofi* but once for 
eighteen days and nights. I preached twice yesterday, ser- 
mons that I wrote in this sick-room. Pray for us much, 
that God would be with us in this hour of darkness." 

" January 20th. 

" John is slowly recovering, though he can not sit up yet. 
Sarah has just got over the icorst of her sickness. Martha 
has had a very narrow escape with her life, but is gradually 
creeping uphill. It is now five weeks since I have had a 
night's rest. But few of the nights have I taken off ray 
clothes. Here I have staid, and here written my poor ser- 
mons. But, oh, what a storm we have in my church ! a 
storm that threatens to sink it, and ^oill sink it, without a 
special interposition of Divine Providence. The fact is, that 
some of my church have been at swords' points for the last 
year and a half; and I have been burning up between them. 
The result, I have no doubt, will be that I shall leave, and 
my poor church will quarrel and tear each other a while, 
and then foil into the hands of the Presbyterians. Great 
efforts have already been made to effect this end. Xo one 
knows, or ccui ever know, the difficulties I have had to meet, 
since I have been here, from without and within. I am 
wearing out here with hard labors, all alone, with none to 
sympathize with me, none to aid me. I am as solitary as if 
there were not a fellow-minister within hundreds of miles 
of me. My row has been a hard one ; but I have labored 
without murmuring ; and if God calls me to leave, I hope I 
shall do it without a tear." 

"January 2Ttli. 

" Were I to go back to my theological life (and oh that I 
could I), I would do differently from what I did. I would 



294 /051Y TODD. 

not enter the ministry as young by four or five years (I was 
twenty-five). I would then, Providence favoring, settle in 
some small, pleasant village, make me a convenient and de- 
sirable home, get me a great pile of books, and there I would 
stick, dwelling among mine own people, and trying to carry 
them with me to heaven. I have done very differently. I 
have built three large churches out of nothing, all of which 
are now strong and powerful. I have had anxieties too 
great, because upon the success of each church my character 
has been staked. I have preached in the cottage, and the 
school-house, and the saloon, and the splendid church. The 
medkmi is the place for usefulness. 'Society,' says Sam 
Slick, ' is like a pork-barrel : the middle is good, but the top 
and bottom are apt to be a leetle tainted.^ What we call 
'common folks' are the backbone of all that is good, and 
among such, were I Horace, I would seek to spend my life. 
Let him stick to his books, make all he can his own, save 
every thought in his power; it will all be needed, and come 
in use hereafter. Let him live near to God in the closet ; it 
is worth more than all the world besides." 

"February 3d. 

" I consider J a young man of first-rate mind in most 

respects, and of uncommon attainments. There seems to be 
•but one great defect in him — a certain Italian darkness — a 
stern withdrawing from every human thing, and making his 
own soul the repository of its own confidence and secrets. 
This is well, if not carried too far. If it increases upon him, 
it will be unhappy, and eventually lead to misanthropy; but 
should it pass away, as the cloud passes from the sun, he will 
be a bright man. I trust that he will outgrow it, and that 
eventually it will become only an independence arising from 
native energy of character. It is owing very much to orig- 
inal temperament; and I know what it means, for I have a 
spice of it in my own constitution." 

"February 5th. 

" Till I came here, I never knew what icorh^ what trouble^ 
what anxiety meant. The ship in which you are sailing is 
continually under strong headway and forever in sight of 
the rocks. You can not sleej) a moment, you can not relax 
a moment, you can not cease to labor a moment. It is for 
this reason that so many break down in cities. My poor 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 295 

liead has turned gray faster here in one year tlian in any ten 
years of my life before I eaine, and yet I have been exceed- 
ingly prosperous. But ah ! the wear of such eternal labor, 
such sleepless vigilance ! I can truly say that for comfort, 
for health, for personal enjoyment, I would prefer the small- 
est country parish in good old Xew England to any great 
church in any great city. In a city it is all luxury and all 
misery — no such thing as comfort; and the more splendid 
the church, the greater your misery. But add to all this 
that I stand alone, have no minister to sympathize with me, 
none to associate with me. I have been sustaining a load 
enough to crush shoulders broader than mine, and the mo- 
ment that Providence allows, I shall lay it down, or it will 
sink me into the grave." 

At about this time Rev. E. N. Kirk, then at the height of 
his popularity and success as an evangelist, visited the city, 
and preached in several of the churches to immense audi- 
ences. A general religious interest was excited, in which 
the Clinton Street Church shared. "My people are begin- 
ning to pray, as I believe, with great earnestness, and are 
asking for a blessing. The last two Sabbaths I have thrown 
aside my notes, and preached right down upon and at the 
people. There is already a very unusual solemnity upon 
my congregation." In these circumstances, Mr. Todd wrote 
most urgently to Mr. Kirk to come and labor with him. He 
came, but soon became dissatisfied with something, and left 
abruptly, after having "preached a few times without much 
effect." "Mr. Kettleton, too, is here — has drunk tea with 
us, I have tried very hard to get him to preach for me, to 
attend some meetings, to visit with me, but he will not. 
When shall we be done with the idea that we may pout, 
and refuse to eat, if every dish is not served just to our lik- 
ing?" Thus abandoned, Mr. Todd, already exhausted by 
sickness and watching in his family, had to shoulder the 
whole burden of the work of the revival. 

" March 10th. 

"I have preached, or exhorted, in public over sixty times 
in the last four weeks, and am much worn down. My nerves 
are in such a condition that I can not sleep at night. There 
have been over one hundred and twenty in the inquiry-meet- 
ing; of these perhaps fifty are my own people; the rest are 



296 JORX TODD. 

wanderers, strangers, any thing. The most distressing part 
of it is, that the work is superficial. They want to be con- 
verted on the resolmng system — to leap into the kingdom 
without a pang of sorrow or remorse, or a single view of sin. 
They want to be excited a little, and then coaxed into the 
kingdom, and at once raked into the church." 

"April 13tli. 

"I have been so ill for the last three weeks that I have 
been able only to drag through daily pressing duties. I 
have had, and still have, a severe pain in ray breast, and 
have, at times, thought of dropping all till better. Still, I 
have held on, and am trying to do what I can for my flock. 
I have preached, and talked, and labored most abundantly. 
More than two hundred have been in my inquiry- meet- 
ino's, of whom one half were members of mv congjreg^ation. 
TTe shall probablj- have nearly or quite fifty added to our 
church at our next communion. Most of these are young, 
and nearly one half are young men. In many respects 
my church was never so prosperous as at this hour. The 
money-affairs are in a dreadful condition: if we live through 
this storm, Ave shall, as I hope, have a clearer sky. Two or 
three times I have been on the point of laying down the bur- 
den and running for my life, and should have done it, were it 
not that perseverance is a part of my character and a part of 
my religion. The Presbyterians stand off more and more." 

"May 24th. 

"We are but indifferently well here. I have not been 
out of the house myself for nearly two weeks. While at 
N^ew York, I had chills, and, on my return, a severe attack of 
bilious fever, added to a touch of the varioloid, which I took 
in visiting a poor miserable creature dying with the small- 
pox — visiting her oflicially, after six other ministers had re- 
fused. I have suffered much pain, but am now better. We 
have just had all the walls of our lecture. Sabbath-school, 
and conference rooms taken off, and an entire new coat of 
hard white plastering put on, and it looks very inviting and 
cheering. Things have gone wonderfully well with my 
people this spring, so far; but it is about time to have trou- 
ble of some kind or another." 

"July 5th. 

" Early in the morning I expect to send off all my treas- 



LIFE AT PHILADELFHIA. 297 

ures. She who thirteen years ago went off alone with me 
will now return to you, for a short season, with her five 
children ! I hope they may have Divine protection on the 
way, and during their stay. It is a great thing to be thus 
obliged to break up every year, and leave my people for so 
long a period; but I am almost worn out. The past is by 
far the hardest year I ever had. I could not go through 
another such without sinking under it. Every possible ex- 
ertion is made to make me pull down the Congregational 
flag; but I have nailed it to the mast. Zcan not change: 
I have not been used to it." 

Having thus sent off his family to Newington, he again 
started, with his lame brother-in-law, for a journey into the 
interior of the State. Their route led them through the coal 
region^ w^here they visited some of the mines, through the 
beautiful Wyoming Valley, and up the Susquehanna into 
New York State, whence, after a short visit among friends 
in the lake country, and a brief halt at Saratoga Springs, 
they returned home by the way of Newington, bringing the 
family with them. It was on this journey that the facts re- 
specting Wyoming Valley and its history were collected, 
w^hich were afterward embodied in the little book called 
"The Lost Sister." 

" September 22d. 

" On coming back to my flock, I found almost every 
thing wrong and out of order, and God only knows whether 
it will ever be otherwise. The disaffected seemed to have 
matured their plans to turn the church into a Presbyterian 
church. To eftect this, nothing was too bad to say about 
me, my family, preaching, talents, etc. My course was, first, 
to see how the great body of my church and congregation 
stood ; for it now became a question, what should be the 
fate of my church. I found shortly, that, as a whole, the 
church were unitedly and firmly knit together, and that they 
were firm friends to me and to Congregationalism. I found, 
moreover, that if I left, it would distract and break up my 
church ; and, at all events, it would not do to leave them at 
present, unless I was willing to see the church utterly in 
ruins. My course was soon fixed, and from it I have not 
deviated a hair. I at once stood aloof from every body. I 
have let them say just ichat they please, and as they please, 



298 JOHX TODD. 

and when they please. I have taken no notice of stories or 
slanders, violence or threatenings (which have been most 
abundant). I have preached as good sermons as I conld pos- 
sibly get time to write, have visited the sick, and made eight 
regular family visits every week. I have quarreled with no- 
body, and I loill quarrel with nobody. I shall stay as long 
as seems to be my duty, and leave the very moment when 
duty to my trust will seem to admit. If there were cmy 
thing that I had done or said that could be got hold of, 
the most that could he made of it would. Fortunately such 
timber has hitherto been very scarce. I should ask and 
take a dismission at once, were it not that in so doing I 
should endanger, and probably upset, Congregationalism in 
this city for a long time to come. ^ And yet it seems as if I 
could not live here in this state much longer. I get used 
to it, just as the eels did to being skinned. I have tried to 
feel right, and to do right, and, so far as I have, I am sure 
God will shield me. I admire one sentence in one of Lu- 
ther's letters to Melancthon : 'Monendus est Philippus, ut de- 
sinat esse rector mundi.'" 

"November 14tli. 

"I have been driven almost to madness by the conduct 
of some of my people. I do not believe that EdnKirds ever 
had so bad things said of him, such wholesale lies told. 
But I go on, and, though I have been brought into close 
corners, yet I have outgeneraled all so far, by standing still 
and doing nothing. I have no plans for the future; all is in 
the hands of Providence." 

"December 29th. 

" TVe have trials with our people, and such, at times, as 
it seems as if we should sink under. Nobody except those 
on the ground can conceive of the methods taken to annoy 
us. The disaffected disgust and keep people away ; they 
give the impression through the city that we are going to 
ruins; they try to persuade those now with us to leave us; 
they keep people from joining us, who w^ould do it other- 
wise ; they seem determined to destroy the church. I spare 
no health, strength, heart, or soul in preaching and in labor- 
ing ; but it would do as much good to pour water upon a 
rock. It is now six months since I have received a cent 
of salary ; the whole church is in a state of heart-sinking ; 



LIFE AT PHILADELFHIA. 299 

and God must deliver us by his special interposition, or the 
church is gone to ruin." 

It was in such a furnace that Mr. Todd's character was 
tried and made more perfect, his ambition and pride humbled, 
his meekness and patience increased, his experience of hu- 
man nature enriched, and his courage, his indifference to 
men, his composure and endurance, wrought out for the 
work of the ministry that yet lay before him. Not a few of 
the threads of gold that gleamed in his later character and 
life were drawn and woven in these fires. 



300 - JOHN TODD. 



CHAPTER XXII. 

LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA COUtmued. 

A kind Publisher.— Scalding Water.— Great Cities.— The Pension.— Char- 
acter attacked. — A severe Ordeal. — Insults. — A boyish Heart. — Days of 
Anguish. — Temporary Peace. — Vacation. — Burlington College. — First 
Glimpse of Adirondacks. — The Backing -spider. — Philosophical Fog. — 
Winking. — In the Woods. — Kestored. — Welcome Home. — A mortgaged 
Church for Sale. — A distressed People.— A solemn Birthday. — Dismission 
asked.— Postponement.— Eftbrts.— Tears.— All over.— A Cradle overhung 
with Gloom. — In a Hall. — How far a Failure. — Causes. — How little lacked. 
— Presbyterian Generosity. — Congregational Liberality. — A heavy Blow. 
—Character saved.— Invited to Remain. — The scattered People.— Farewell 
to Philadelphia. 

To J. H. Butler^ his Publisher. 

" January 15th, 1841. 
"I do Dot know how much longer I shall feel it to be my 
duty to stand my ground here, to be scorned, and slandered, 
and abused beyond all description. I should let go in an 
hour, but the moment that I do the ship is all a wreck. I 
have not received a cent of salary for more than six months; 
and had it not been for thee, thou good friend, I don't know 
but my babes would have starved. Many thanks, dear B., 
for your many kindnesses to me and mine. You have no 
idea how much you live in my memory, or how much I 
value your friendship. May the Lord bless you ! and if you 
do as well as you know how, he certainly will." 

To Eev. G. R. H . 

"January 20th. 
" I have been in water scalding hot ever since I saw you, 
and have been scalded all over; but as I keep perfectly 
still, I heal up fast. There is an onset made — an effort which 
I hav^ never seen equaled for violence, for slander, for cruelty, 
for virulence — to upset the ship, discharge every hand, throw 
the cargo into the sea, and hoist another flag. What the re- 
sult will be, will depend entirely upon the will and designs 
of a wise and gracious Providence. I can not think that I 
and my church will be allowed to be killed. But if we are, 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 301 

it will be open murder: we shall die bard ; and you will hear 
our death-throes even in Xew York, noisy as you are. I 
could tell you a tale that would amaze you. I have a Mon- 
day-morning prayer -meeting of ministers at my study 
weekly, and have ten ministers of seven different denomina- 
tions, but not one of them is a Presbyterian. I am deliver- 
ing a short coarse of lectures on ' Great Cities,' which are 
makiuij^ a noise here, and drawino- orreat crowds." 

Evidence having been put into Mr. Todd's hands, about 
this time, that his father had served in the Revolutionary 
War, he made an attempt to secure for his mother the pen- 
sion to which she was entitled. 

To Rev. and Mrs. S. N. Shepard. 

"February 4th. 

" Deak Beother and Sistee, — I have run a curious 
course since I saw you. On reaching home, I pushed on at 
once to Washington, and pushed here and there ; but push- 
ing did no good. They would not begin to begin to give 
me a pension ; and so I came home with my finger in my 
mouth, having spent just fifty dollars in the two journeys, 
and having become perfectly satisfied that no star shines 
propitiously on my path." [At a later day, a small pension 
was secured.] 

"We have had trial upon trial since I saw you, and I 
don't suppose you \w\\\ be particularly delighted with their 
recital. It is enough to say that I have been the butt at 
which there has been sharp and hard shooting. Some of 
my good folks, and those who were bitter enemies to each 
other a few weeks since, have banded together, and have 
had caucuses about every evening. One says this, and an- 
other says that, and the rest swear to it. I had about made 
up my mind to leave them at once and cut clear; but just 
at this time they attacked my moral character ; said that.J 
was a liar and a slanderer, and that my moral character was 
both of these in Xew England ; and showed the backside of 
a letter which they said would prove this, etc. I then made 
up my mind to die hard. I simply said, 'There is my char- 
acter, which I have been twenty years in earning; take it, 
make the most of it, impeach it, if you please. I am ready 
to try any issue between you and me you choose. I only 
demand that you bring your charges, and that they be tried 

20 



302 JOHN TODD. 

before the strongest ecclesiastical council the land can af- 
ford.' They then tried to huy me off — would give me a 
year's salary to leave. No, I can't be bought. The hawk 
has taken the cat up in the air, to eat her up ; and when 
he finds that puss won't be eaten, he says, 'Let go, let go.' 
' No,' says puss, ' you must first carry me back to the place 
where you took me up.' They are now daily and nightly 
plotting. They say, 'Why doesn't Mr. Todd discipline us 
for slandering him? Will he lie under such imputations?' 
I reply, ' Cool, cool, gentlemen ! you may pick at my char- 
acter all the day, and all the year, and I shall have enough 
left. You don't trouble me, and I am not in a hurry.' So 
I stand perfectly still, and let them work. I am sometimes 
amazed at my own coolness; but, then, I know that I am on 
the right side, and they on the wrong ; that all the praying 
part of the church are against them ; that all the rest of the 
church and congregation are united and firm ; that the com- 
munity will go against them ; and that on their part it is 
merely a determination to triumph over one poor w^orm of 
the dust. What will be the result I know not. I have 
thrown myself upon that Providence that has ever taken 
care of me, and leave it all in his hands. I shall aim to fol- 
low that Providence.^ In the mean time, I go on, through 
evil report and through good report, unmoved. I wish 
that I could get away, if it be God's will ; but I dare not 
do it of myself In the mean time, the sympathies of my 
people are gathering around us more and more. I have 
pledged myself not to run, come what will, and I think they 
will stand by me. It is the most severe ordeal and the most 
severe trial that I ever passed through, and God grant that 
it may do me good. I think it has done me good ; for 
though I shall not break, or flinch, or sink, till I die, yet it 
has led me to throw myself more upon God, and by prayer 
to commit my destiny unto him. My head whitens fast, and 
my nights are sleepless ; and yet I can laugh as heartily as 
ever, and feel no more discouraged than on that buoyant 
morning when I left Boston on foot, with my worldly goods 
under my arm, for Yale." 

ToW.K. B , in Paris. 

"February 8th. 

" I am insulted daily, in the house of God and everywhere 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 303 

else : Mrs. Todd, too, comes in for her share of reproach and 
coutumely, and it sometimes seems as if we must sink under 
it. But God has been gracious hitherto, and he must be 
praised and confided in. I think that I should have left and 
gone to dear New England, had they not so violently at- 
tacked my moral character ; but when they did that, I said, 
'I don't go at present.' I have sufi*ered all that the tongue 
can inflict, and henceforth every new infliction will be less 
and less felt. I have often said, ' Oh that I had one true 
New England heart with which to commune !' What a 
world this is, that one's friends should turn against him ! 
and what a world will that be, out of which all that is sin- 
ful shall be cast I I have tried to be still, to return good 
for evil, and blessing for cursings and on no occasion to be 
thrown off" my guard. My church and congregation, as a 
whole, are united, and would be cheerful and happy, w^ere 
it not for 'men.' But I will leave all till I see you. I will 
only add that you may expect to be amazed. I have worked 
as hard since I have been in this city as a man ought ever 
to do. I have put up with as much, and have been will- 
ing to do any tiling for tlie prosperity of my church. A 
thousand changes have taken place since I saw you, a thou- 
sand new developments made, and a thousand new things 
have turned up. But the heart is the same, the heavens 
over us are the same, and the hopes of the good man are 
unchanged. You, too, I learn, have been touched by sorrow 
and disappointment. May you receive good from it. Can 
you ever, in your gay city, send your thoughts across the 
great waters, and think of such a place as the White Mount- 
ains, and the pure, green, murmuring Saco, born up in the 
very solitudes of nature ? Boyish heart, this of mine ! It 
might travel the earth over, and see every thing upon which 
the sun shines, but never could memory let go that vision! 
Shall we ever again see it in company ? Is there any air in 
La Belle France to be compared with that of our own native 
hills ? In all the world, is there such a spot on which to die 
and be buried, as under the shade of one of our own trees, 
where our native birds would sing over our rest ?" 

" March 2od. 
"Since I last wrote you I have passed through more trou- 
bles than at any time in my life during the same period. 



304 JOHS TODD. 

The determined and avowed attempt has been made for 
months to destroy my Christian and ministerial character, 
in my church, out of my church, and through the city. I 
have spent sleepless nights and days of anguish. I have 
been lacei-ated and worn down; and you know that 'oppres- 
sion maketh the wise man mad.' I have almost wished for 
the grave as a resting-place. I have not retorted or thrown 
back. I have stood still and w^aited upon the Lord. In the 
mean time I have worked hard, have attended five meetings 
between the Sabbaths every week throughout the season, 
have not lost a half day this winter, liave written my lect- 
ures on Great Cities, and pi'eached them twice over in the 
city to immense audiences." 

About this time his opponents determined to measure 
their strength in a church meeting. The result showed 
that they could command only their own less than half a 
dozen votes. Greatly chagrined at this signal defeat, they 
at once withdrew from the congregation, leaving the church 
to enjoy a temporary peace. 

"April lOth. 

"Every day shows that the world turns round very rap- 
idly. The death of Harrison filled all hearts with deep 
gloom and sorrow. It is real, even in a great city ; and the 
impression is so deep that the very streets are saddened. 
Our churches are hung in mourning, and the nation grieves. 
Hardly had we recovered from the shock here, when the dis- 
closures came respecting the United States Bank. Every 
thing is now prostrate here, and all is in distress." 

To Samuel J^race, his Brother-in-laii\ in Tale College. 

"May 5th. 
"I congratulate you on your appointment, which certainly 
speaks well of you as having character. I think fiither and 
mother have great reason to be proud of their children — of 
all except my poor self. I am not what God made me, nor 
what man made me; merely what I made myself, with no 
model to work by. I shall send you my little new book 
('Great Cities'), and you must tell me how you like it. I 
don't know that I shall stop writing till Noah Webster does. 
It's a vexations business; but a French writer says, 'He who 
has written once will write again.' The only pleasant thing. 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 305 

by -way of relaxation, that I have liad since I saw you was, 
that this morning I shot a Large rat in my cellar in the dark, 
and he upon the jump. Can you beat that?" 

To Hon. W. IT . 

"May a4th. 

"It is difficult to unite all needed qualities in any one 
man. He who shall possess character, heart, piety, and in- 
tellect sufficient to leave the marks of a powerful ministry in 
after-years upon a community can hardly be expected to be 
the most popular for the present moment ; and the boat that 
sails beautifully upon the smooth waters with soft breezes 
can hardly be expected to have a build and a streno-th that 
can weather a gale and outride storms. I feel that the right 
man, in a position like yours, ought to have the power of do- 
ing as much good abroad, by character and influence, as at 
liome. But you have lived too long not to know that 7nen 
are very imperfect creatures. Charity comes with age." 

The severe trials through which Mr, Todd had passed, to- 
gether with the sickness in his family, and the excitement 
and labors connected with the revival, had so worn upon 
him, that when the hot weather and the time for his annual 
vacation came on he found himself seriously out of health. 
He had engaged to deliver an oration at Amherst and Bur- 
lington colleges. Leaving, therefore, his family in their usu- 
al summer retreat, he hastened to perform this duty before 
seeking entire rest. From Burlington he writes : 

"August 2d. 

"This place is indescribably beautiful in location and 
scenery. It stands on the side of a hill running parallel 
with Lake Champlain. On the top of a hill, facing west and 
east, stands the college, just a mile from the lake. You look 
down west, and the beautiful village, containing five thou- 
sand inhabitants, and all embosomed in trees, lies at your 
feet. You look over it, and there is the lake, curving along 
toward Canada, just ten miles wide, and apparently not 
a quarter of that width. Opposite Burlington, some three 
miles oif, a rock rears up its form, Irke a tall hay-stack, na- 
ked, cold, and solitary, and beautiful. Then, beyond, are 
four little islands, exactly alike, called 'The Four Brothers,' 
covered with trees and foliage. They rise up apparently 
seventy-five or one hundred feet, and then are covered and 



306 JOHN TODD. 

crowned with a most beautiful green. Beyond the lake is a 
horizon of mountains, from twelve to fifty miles off, in dif- 
ferent ranges and tiers ; and among them, some forty miles 
away, rises Mount Marc}^, over five thousand feet high. 
That whole region is a wonder, and, in other years, I have 
often tried to pierce it with the eye and see what is there. 
Xo J3en can describe the beauty of those blue mountains, 
apparently withdrawn from the world that they may com- 
mune and live together. It is a region of wilds, and lakes, 
and rivers, and steeps, and precipices, and the place where 
Nature w^alks alone, without any troublesome people to fol- 
low her to gaze at her naked limbs, or to take the measure 
of her footsteps. From the college you also look east, and 
there are my own native Green Mountains, most symmetric- 
ally beautiful. They are twenty miles off, but you would 
not think them over three. They have also a veil of blue 
over them, so that you can not exactly see what is going on 
there. * Mansfield' is the name of the peak directly east of 
this ; and it is the highest peak in the whole range." 

"August 3d. 

"Last evening I delivered my oration before the college, 
in the large Unitarian church, and under the pressure of 
such a sick headache as almost killed me. I had the most 
undivided attention, and I believe it went off well ; but I 
feel awfully on this most beautiful morning. My head rolls, 
and plunges, and twitches, ' with a hobble and a hitch,' and 
goes each way like a ' backing-spider.' " 

" Evening. 

" I lay on the bed all the forenoon. Dined at Professor 
W 's, in company with several gentlemen. This after- 
noon I heard an oration before the literary societies, and 
also a poem. The oration, as I presume, w^as deep, but it 
was the dryest of all fodder. The poem was a long string 
of rhymes and good pious feeling. This evening we had the 
Junior Exhibition — very manly and sound, with a vein of 
the obscure, foggy, misty Coleridgeism in all. This gives 
a kind of deep, philosophical fog, through which common 
thoughts appear quite magnificent. Did you ever see that 
boy who owned the parrot, and that other boy who owned 
the owl ? ' Can your bird talk ?' says the owl boy. ' Oh 
yes,' says the parrot boy, ' he can talk every thing. Can 



LIFE AT PHILADELHIA. 307 

your bird talk T ' No, he can't talk yet, but he can wink 
terribly.' I believe greatly in this winking: it is a most 
infallible evidence of deep thought. Were I to stay here 
among these professors long, I should have to brush up my 
learning ; but I contrive to get along with small shot and 
paper- wadding. To-morrow I am going across the lake, 
with two or three of the professors, into that wilderness 
of mountains, in measuring heights and depths, climbing 
mountains and exploring lakes and rivers, and peeping into 
the very cupboard of nature. You will be satisfied to have 
me go, when you know that I go under the protection of 
barometers and spy-glasses, as well as of fish-lines and poor 
guns, and also an experienced ' woodsman,' who goes as 
guide and navigator. We carry tea, and salt, and sugar, 
and pork, and Indian meal, and a kettle, and expect to have 
' a time of it.' One of the professors, an enthusiast, has been 
every year for seven years, and was the first that ever ex- 
plored the wilderness. I am in hopes that this jaunt, most 
of which must be taken in canoes or on foot, will renew all 
my powers." 

This was the beginning of those annual hunting -tours 
among the "Adirondacks," which were continued for many 
years, till the increasing multitude of visitors to the region 
drove him to seek wilder haunts. From this expedition he 
returned to his work with renewed health. " Could I feel 
uniformly as well as I now do, this would be a new world 
to me." 

"September 6th. 

"My church were down, and divided, and disheartened, 
and ready to sink, Avhen I reached home ; but yesterday I 
put in the oar with more than my own strength. The con- 
gregation was very large, very attentive, and very solemn. 
They have again a rallying-point, in having their minister. 
Our people never seemed so glad to see us as on our pres- 
ent return." 

Mr. Todd had returned to his work with many fears, but 
yet not without hope that he would be permitted to go 
on with it ; but he soon found himself and his church so 
"hedged up" that further progress was fmpossible. His 
opponents were in control of the finances of the church ; 
and, though they had retired from active participation in its 



308 JOHN TODD. 

affairs, were in a position to determine its fate. ISTo money- 
was allowed to reach the hands of the pastor; lie had re- 
ceived no salary since the beginning of the year; and it was 
evident that he conld not much longer support his large 
family in an expensive city without any income. But, more 
than this, the church itself was in the hands of his enemies. 
At the time when it was built, a mortgage was given for a 
part of the purchase-money of the ground, which contained 
this condition, that if at any time the interest should not be 
paid within thirty days after it was due and demanded, the 
whole principal might be demanded, and collected by fore- 
closure. In the midst of the financial troubles of 1837 the 
interest became due, and its payment was neglected for more 
than the thirty days, and foreclosure was threatened. In 
this strait, the managers of the society found a friend to buy 
up and hold the mortgage for them. In doing so he obtain- 
ed, of course, the right to foreclose. By means of this right, 
therefore, vested in one of their friends, they now took meas- 
ures to sell the church over the heads of the congregation. 

The following extracts are from a private note-book : 

"September 16th. 

"My people just begin to learn that our church is to be 
sold, and have been calling all day in great distress. I 
know not what I can do for them, or how to advise them. 
The Lord only can guide them, and I pray that he will. 
The perplexities are almost innumerable." 

" October 9th. 

" My birthday ! forty-one years ! I have tried to recall 
the mercies of God ; to be affected in view of them ; to re- 
pent before him ; to mourn, and to ask his forgiveness for 
the past, his aid for the future, his mercy, his compassion, 
and his Spirit. Oh, the past — how solemn in review ! the 
future — how solemn in prospect ! My God, my Saviour, my 
Sanctifier, oh, never forsake me !" 

"October 19th. 

"Asked a dismission from my church — a full, solemn, aw- 
ful meeting. The debt now upon us is intolerable, together 
with the opposition of restless spirits. I tried to write and 
speak and act in the spirit of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It 
is the most severe trial that I ever had. But all the provi- 
dences of God have worked against us, and it seems to be 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. 309 

the will of God that Congregationalism shall not be estab- 
lished in this city. I have spared no labors, no anxieties, 
no efforts; but all in vain. God, in his infinite mercy, for- 
give my sins, frailties, and short-comings in duty, and lead 
me in a straight path, and bless my poor flock. I have 
given my heart's love to my people, but must leave them." 

" October 22d. 

"My church met this evening. In the ho2^e that they 
might yet raise the money needed, they voted to postpone 
acting on my request till Wednesday next, in the evening. 
Yain hope, as I fear !" 

"October 23d. 

"All my poor flock are hoping, and striving, and praying 
for deliverance. Zhave very little hope." 

" October 26th. 

"To-morrow evening I expect to be dismissed, without 
home, without property, without employment, without any 
future prospects, and with the atmosphere poisoned by the 
insinuations, the reports, and the falsehoods of the disaf- 
fected." 

" October 27th. 

" No hopes for my people, no deliverance ! The Lord hath 
hedged up the w^ay. We have spent the day as one of fast- 
ing and prayer — my family, and many of the church. 

'•'■Six o'clock. — The gentlemen have called to inform me 
that they can not raise the money. With many tears and 
an agonized heart they have come to that conclusion. 

"A7ne o'' clock. — It is all over! God in his mysterious 
providence has severed the tie which bound me and my dear 
flock together. They have, with many tears, voted my dis- 
mission, with their unabated respect, affection, and confi- 
dence. Oh that I may have a heart to say, 'Thy will be 
done !' I know, believe, and, blessed be God,/ee^ that he is 
wise and holy and good. He hath done all things right, I 
doubt not, all wisely, and all for the best. To him I com- 
mend my helpless family, my afflicted flock, and my own 
bleeding heart !" 

In the midst of all this trouble and sorrow, the fifth 
daughter, Anna Danforth, was born. It was a dark world 
that she came into, and her coming may have seemed, for 
the moment, to deepen the clouds that already lowered over 



310 JOHX TODD. 

the helpless family of many little ones, though the father 
was the last person in the world to express or to entertain 
such a feeling; but not one of the children has brought 
more sunshine into the family than this one, whose cradle 
was thus overhung with gloom and rocked with tears. 

On returning from a trip to New England, Mr. Todd 
found that his people had opened public worship in a large 
hall, not without hope that he would remain with them. 
He had, however, already accepted a call to another post, 
and therefore preached to them but a few Sabbaths in this 
hall, where, w^ith numbers unthinned by disaster, they gath- 
ered to hear him. 

How far his work had been a failure may be determined 
from these facts, that, in spite of the unparalleled pecuniary 
distress of the times, and of the difficulties of planting a 
Congregational church in an uncongenial community, and 
of inconceivable obstacles and opposition without and with- 
in, he had built up a handful of people into a great congre- 
gation, had added more than fifty annually to the church, 
had caused the Sabbath-school to become a "model school" 
of about four hundred members, so perfect in its machinery 
as to attract visitors from all parts of the land, and even 
from Europe — had trained two young men for the ministry, 
and seen them settled over large and important churches — 
had brought his people to contribute annually more than 
one thousand dollars to send the Gospel abroad, and to pay 
more than forty thousand dollars toward their own church 
edifice, and had acquired a position and influence in the 
city as a preacher and lecturer excelled by none. At the 
very time when he and his people were " tipped into the 
street," his congregation was immense, his Sabbath -school 
was full, and all the activities of a great, and young, and 
earnest church were in full operation. 

It is evident that but for the great and long-continued 
financial distress of the times, the church must have suc- 
ceeded in spite of all obstacles. It is equally evident that 
it would have triumphed over even this obstacle also, had it 
been sustained by the assistance, or even only the sympathy 
and moral support, of the churches around it. These were 
withheld. " Our Presbyterian brethren have never felt as 
if they dared, either Old School or New, to invite me even 



LIFE A T PHILADELPHIA. 311 

into a ministerial prayer -meeting." "The ministers here, 
and the churches, crowd ; and I can have no sympathy and 
no aid from them, but the contrary. If the ministers of the 
Gospel would only stand by me, I should have no fear in 
staying." And this was written after the church edifice 
was abandoned. 

The reader will be surprised to learn how little the church 
lacked to success. "I asked my people to give me a dis- 
mission. They laid it on the table for a week, and made a 
death-struggle to raise the twenty -seven thousand dollars 
which they still owed. They strained every nerve, and 
found that they could raise twenty-two thousand dollars, but 
only on the condition that the whole twenty-seven thousand 
dollars should be raised. We are, therefore, compelled to 
. yield to circumstances which we can not control, and relin- 
quish the undertaking." Only five thousand dollars, then, 
were needed, to put the church on a secure foundation ; but 
for this comparatively small amount appeals for help were 
made in every direction in vain. "I was born and bred a 
Presbyterian," writes one, " but I can never have much love 
for the denomination, because I am well satisfied that had 
but a few of its leading members extended toward you the 
true friendship of Christianity when you were in our midst, 
you still would be, where you ought to be at this moment, 
at the head of a much-loved people here. We asked but lit- 
tle, a very trifle, from them beyond their sympathy ; a very 
trifling pecuniary aid was needed ; but this, in the hour of 
our trial, was refused." Mr. Todd also writes : " Kind and 
plain intimations have been thrown out that if I and my 
late people will become Presbyterians, there will be no lack 
of funds. My determination is unwavering, that I can not 
sell my principles." 

The course pursued by the Presbyterians must not, how- 
ever, be judged too harshly. It was questionable, and Mr. 
Todd himself, in after-years, doubted whether it was desir- 
able for a new denomination to force itself into a field al- 
ready well occupied by one differing from it only in polity, 
and better suited than itself to the genius of the people. 
The Presbyterians, naturally, felt under little obligation to 
assist an institution whose very existence was a standing 
protest against their own system, and whose growth would 



312 JOHN TODD. 

threaten it. A great deal of ill-feeling, too, had been un- 
necessarily excited ; for though Mr. Todd had shown no 
controversial or proselyting spirit, some of his people had 
been very bitter and exasperating in their language. And 
not unlikely, if Mr. Todd found his ministerial brethren un- 
sympathetic, there was another side to the story, and his 
native pride and Congregational independence had, especially 
in the full tide of success, and then still more in the ebb, re- 
pelled rather than invited sympathy. From Congregation- 
alists in IS'ew England, to whom, also, vain appeals for help 
were made, more might reasonably have been expected. 
But it is the vice of Congregationalism, that in it every 
man's hand is against his brother. Its traditional short- 
sighted policy prevailed ; and, for tvant of five thousand dol- 
lars, Congregationalism allowed a position to be lost which 
is not yet regained, and will not be in half a century. 

The necessity of abandoning their undertaking was a 
heavy blow to the devoted pastor and flock. " I have never 
witnessed such agony, such efforts, and such weepings, as 
among my afflicted flock. I have labored unweariedly, have 
gone without my salary, have bought money at eleven per 
cent, to give my family bread. I have endured reproach, 
and slander, and malice — I trust, in meekness — in the hope 
that a New England church would be suffered to stand and 
live here. But I can do no more." It was a long time be- 
fore his sore and aching heart ceased to feel the smart. 
From Pittsfield he wrote: "I suppose that my church is 
stripped, and sacked, and sold ! I protest before God that 
7" have not done it. When I think how I w^atched it as it 
went up and was completed — when I think of the organ, the 
pulpit, the dedication — I am almost frantic. I thank God I 
am not there !" 

There was one thing, however, which he saved from the 
wreck, entire — his character. His enemies had not been 
able to destroy it. Two of the most bitter and determined 
of them, of their own accord, sought in after-years, and re- 
ceived, his forgiveness. In the community generally he 
stood above reproach. 

" December 28th. 

"I never had half the influence in and through the city 
which I have this winter. I have four public lectures this 



i 



LIFE AT PHILADELPHIA. , 313 

week out of my own church, and more were entreated. The 
thing which gives me the most comfort in all this is, that 
this whole community feel that the failure of Congregation- 
alism here is not my fault ; and that, in all the wars and 
fightings which I have had, I have not suffered in character 
in the least. This is a consolation." 

Many of the leading Presbyterian ministers were desirous 
that he should remain in the city as a Presbyterian ; and 
several years afterward, when an opportunity was offered 
him to return, were earnest in their wishes that he would 
embrace it ; but his steadfastness to his Congregational 
principles, with, perhaps, a trace of pride and of bitter recol- 
lection, and subsequently an interest in another people, for- 
bade it. 

His own faithful flock stood by him and clung to him to 
the last. In the churches among which they were event- 
ually scattered, their conspicuous Christian character and 
activity have been a standing witness of the influence and 
power of his ministry among them. Whenever he preached 
in the city, even down to within a month of his last sick- 
ness, they gathered around him with touching affection, and 
tender memories of the time when they parted from him 
with many tears, and prayers, " that the patience and firm- 
ness with which you have encountered the extraordinar}'- 
trials attending your ministerial charge in this city, the 
meekness with which you have borne persecution, and your 
various and unwearied labors in the cause of the Saviour, 
may find their reward in the Holy Spirit's blessing upon 
your future exertions, in your own peace of mind and in 
the everlastino- bliss of heaven." 



314 J0H2^ TODD. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 

A great Change.— Pittsfi eld as it "Was.— Every thing Strange.— Immersicn 
under Difficulties.— Jack Frost in the Pulpit.— The old Church.— A great 
People.— Discouragements. — Revival.— A cheerful World.— Installation. — 
The Stake vs. Gnats. — In the Parsonage. — A stormy Night. — "You're 
burning up."—" Where are the Children ?"— All over.— A Home gone.— 
"All I have left."— A dark Cloud.— All Kindness.— Trips to Philadelphia. 
— In the old Pulpit. — A mere Dream. — A Town- awed. — The Inquiry- 
meeting. — "I'm your own Mary." — Deep Waters. — Hope. — A cold Snap. 
— Evil Tidings. — A great-souled Brother. — Cut down Trunk and Branches. 
—Ministers taught. — The clouded Mind clear at last. — "No more than 
my Duty." 

The change which Mr. Todd made in going from Phila- 
delphia to Pittsfield was an important one. It was a change 
from a great city to a small mountain town, from a com- 
mercial to a farming and manufacturing community, from a 
quiet and easy to an active and restless people, from a mild 
to a keen intellectual atmosphere, from a genial climate to 
the rigors of an almost Canadian winter. But it was more 
than this. Hitherto his course had been aggressive and 
constructive. In every place he had been called to assail 
the old and established order of things, to pull down walls 
which had long been reared, and with the materials so gath- 
ered to build anew. Three large new churches attested his 
power as a progressive. He was now for the first time 
transferred to an old and established church, where his duty 
was not to attack, but to defend, existing things; not to rev- 
olutionize, but to conserve ; not to draw upon the strength 
of other churches, but to maintain strength upon which oth- 
ers were constantly drawing. It was now to be seen wheth- 
er he could manage the inertia and fixedness and prejudices 
of an old church as well as he could the ardor and activity 
of a new one ; whether he could lose with as much grace as 
he could gain from others a colony; whether he could pre- 
vent or repair, as well as he could create, a waste. The re- 
sult proved that, in assuming the care of the First Church 




THE FIKsT CU^GKEGATIONAL CHUKCU, PITTSFIELD. MASSACHUSETTS. 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 315 

ill Pittsfield, he was for the first time placed in such a con- 
servative position as, despite his success in other relations, 
he was really best fitted for by his natural tastes and talents. 

Pittsfield was then a town of less than four thousand in- 
habitants, situated near the middle of the valley of the up- 
per Housatonic, with numerous small factories strung along 
its slender streams. The central village was on a broad 
elevation, from which its four wide streets, radiating toward 
the four points of the compass, and lined with ancient 
maples, descended on every side. At their junction w^as a 
small oval park, surrounded by a dilapidated fence, and 
having in its centre an immensely tall elm, the last relic of 
the primeval forest. On all sides of the village, at a few 
miles' distance, rose densely wooded mountains, whose out- 
lines were beautiful even in winter, and whose various forms 
and colors in spring and autumn made the scenery of the 
region surpassingly beautiful. But all the beauties of the 
place were buried, at the time of Mr. Todd's arrival, under 
the snows of an unusually severe Berkshire winter. "Ev- 
ery thing seems strange to me here. It seems strange to 
see the mountains all around me covered with snow. It 
seems strange not to be able to leave the stove for half an 
hour without having all the fire burned out and the room 
cold. It seems strange to find the water frozen in your 
room, though you make up a hot fire at ten o'clock, and get 
up at four. It seems strange to go to meeting when the 
thermometer is six below zero, and stranger still to see the 
Baptists go down to the river and baptize seven, when the 
thermometer is six below zero, and a man has to stand with 
a rake and keep the pool from freezing over ! Last Sabbath 
you might have seen the richest man in town going to 
church with a huge buffalo -robe under his arm, which he 
used in his pew ; and I actually had my toes touched with 
frost in the pulpit." 

Fronting the little oval park by the side of the old town- 
hall, which thirty years more have not yet improved, stood 
the long, cupola-crowned white frame meeting-house of the 
First Church — an object of great admiration to its original 
builders, but somewhat the worse for wear, and presenting 
a strangle contrast with the new and eleo-ant edifice which 
the pastor had just left. In the interior, low galleries ran 

21 



316 JOHN TODD. 

around three sides, one of them being appropriated by men, 
the opposite one by women, and the middle one by the choir, 
who were not crowded by an organ ; in the back corners, 
under the galleries, lingered two or three box-pews claimed 
by some of the older families ; along the fronts of the gal- 
leries ran interminable stove-pipes, which dripped pyrolig- 
neous acid abundantly on the well-stained carpets, but dif- 
fused little heat ; behind the lofty pulpit, a supposed win- 
dow was concealed by faded and dingy crimson tapestry. 
But the cheery disposition of the new pastor, determined to 
look on the bi'ightest side of every thing, found something 
even here to approve. " The church has a good bell, a very 
good town-clock on it, and a good clock inside, on the gal- 
lery, fronting the pulpit." In hi^uQw people he found much 
greater cause for satisfaction. "It is a great, rich, proud, 
enlightened, powerful people. They move slowly, but they 
tread like the elephant. They are cool, but kind, sincere, 
great at hearing, and very critical. I have never had an 
audience who heard so critically. There is ten times more 
intellect that is cultivated than we have ever had before. 
You would be surprised to see how much they read. The 
ladies are most abundant, intelligent, refined, and kind. A 
wider, better, harder, or more interesting field no man need 
desire. It is large enough to task the powers of any man, re- 
sponsible enough to make him tremble, and desirable enough 
to satisfy his most fastidious wishes." It was, however, in a 
poor condition in many respects. " The Sabbath-school has 
sadly gone to decay, the monthly concert is all dowm, and 
the sympathies of the out-districts are all dried up ; these 
three points demand my immediate attention." The only 
lecture-room was the upper story of an old church which 
had been built and abandoned many years before by an un- 
successful colony, and it was dirty, cold, and ill-lighted, and 
was rented as a hall to every traveling troupe or show- 
man. The society was burdened with a debt over which it 
groaned, and which hung like a small millstone about its 
neck, and owed for the very oil burned in evening meetings. 
It is not strange that in the face of such discouragements, 
and alone among strangers, and with such painful disap- 
pointments fresh in his memory, the new pastor had some 
hours of despondency. "I do lament most deeply that I 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 317 

come here as I do, with spirits broken and crushed, the feel- 
ings wounded and lacerated, the hopes cut ofi", and the day- 
light of the heart shrouded in the dai'kness of disappoint- 
ment. I am all alone, and lonely too, and feel it most keen- 
ly. I have sometimes had great fears lest my own reason 
should follow that of my mother, especially since our trou- 
bles; but God has been merciful hitherto. I try to feel and 
keep cheerful, but I want my family around me." As if to 
divert him from such thoughts, and to encourage him, it hap- 
pened providentially that at the very time of his arrival 
there was an unusual religious interest among his people; 
and, even before his installation, he was taken up with the 
labors and tender anxieties of a revival. " When I reached 
this place I found some unusual attention in the Sabbatli- 
school, and immediately took measures to meet such of the 
children as professed to be anxious. There Avere fifty who 
came. Thinking that many might have come through curi- 
osity, I tried to sift them, and to have none come the next 
week except those who were really anxious. There were 
fifty-seven at the second meeting. I do not think that all 
these are impressed, but as many as twenty are expressing 
a hope of salvation." Amidst such labors, his naturally elas- 
tic spirit soon recovered its tone, and he began to take an 
interest in his new work. "I am not much acquainted with 
this people as yet, and feel unable to attempt any movement 
at present ; but if they do not do a thing or two by-and-by 
I am no prophet. I think I should at once enter into my 
work, and enjoy preaching once more, if I had my family 
here, and had done with Philadelphia. I am putting levers 
under the ship as fast as it will do. If the past could be 
blotted out, I should be perfectly happy here with you and 
my family. The mountain air is free and sweet. The diffi- 
culty with your health is nervous excitement, worry of mind. 
It has eaten us up, and the sooner you get away, the better. 
You need rest, and to see a community upon whom the 
blasts of ruin are not constantly falling. This is a cheerful 
world here compared with what it is where you are, and I 
rejoice to say that I begin again to take comfort in preach- 
ing: it hegins to seem as it once did. No inducement could 
get me back to Philadelphia. May the Lord forgive me 
that I ever provoked him by going once." 



318 JOHN TODD. 

The installation took place on the 16th of February, Dr. 
Shepard preaching the sermon. In his inauoural sermon, 
the new pastor, who had heard something of the difficulties 
of his predecessors, took occasion to say that he wished his 
people would not come and tell him every little criticism or 
complaint that they heard, or what this and that one said or 
felt ; if they wished to kill him, he would prefer being taken 
to the park, in front of the church, and burned at the stake 
to being stung to death by gnats. The hint gave consider- 
able offense at the time, but it was effectual. 

Early in the spring he returned to Philadelphia for his 
family, and after a few weeks of boarding they were all at 
last quietly established in the old parsonage, and another 
attempt was made to make sonxething of the stony garden, 
which successive pastors had abandoned in despair. 

"April 29th. 

"We have got into our new house, and, as usual, every 
thing was down at the heel. I have whitewashed, and 
painted, and papered, till it seemed impossible ever to get 
through. Then the fences and barns were all in ruins. We 
have had a day of visiting: not less than three hundred, and 
probably not less than four hundred, came ; and they all had 
to be teaed and coffeed. We had provisions enough sent in, 
and the ladies came in and did all the work; but it was a 
day of fatigue, as Mrs. Todd and the baby could well testify. 
I have a young ladies' Bible -class, and have one hundred 
and fourteen members. It is very sickly, and we have a fu- 
neral almost every day, and yet there is no particular dis- 
ease. Death comes in every shape and direction. Is it not 
a marvel how depravity came to be introduced into the king- 
dom of God ? I believe this will long be a mystery, notwith- 
standing all that Dr. Taylor has written on the subject." 

The year was quietly spent in cultivating the acquaint- 
ance of his people, and in prosecuting various literary la- 
bors, for all which his accumulations of written sermons af- 
forded him ample leisure. But at the beginning of winter 
an event occurred which at once drew his people around 
him, and compelled him again to go to work at making ser- 
mons. In this light it was, though terrible at the time, the 
best thing, probably, that could have happened to him. It 
was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, the last Sunday in No- 




DOCTOR TODD'S RESIDENCE. 

Pai-souage of First Coiiijregational Society, Pittsfield, Massachusetts* 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 319 

vember, an intolerably cold and fiercely windy day, when, at 
ten o'clock at night, he sat down to write a few words to his 
father-in-law. 

"November 27th. 

"Dear Parents, — You may thank that Providence who 
sends an indescribable storm this- evening, which keeps me 
from my usual lecture, if this scrawl shall afford you any 
satisfaction. It is now blowing and snowing here, just as 
it did last February, the day after my installation. I have 
just returned from the thirty-sixth funeral I have attended 
since my installation ! All my associations with Pittsfield 

are connected with sicknesses and deaths I have work 

on hand enough for five honest men, and yet seem to accom- 
plish but little. I have a lecture, delivered here before the 
young men, in press; and then, my cattle-show address in 
press, and an introduction to H. K. White's works in press 
in Philadelphia (for a suit of clothes), and some dozen other 
irons in the fire — all of no consequence, and yet all taking 
time and labor and thought. It is also a hard time for 
money ; and I find it exceedingly difiicult to get the what- 
nots for a family of eleven persons, constantly, without 
means. But we all have good health so far. I am quid- 
dling with sermons and other things, and think, on the whole, 
life will run away, and I shall do nothing. They have sent 
for me to deliver two lectures in Philadelphia, and one in 
New York. I thank Heaven I can do as I please now about 
such things. All send love, and hope the wind blows more 
softly Avith you. Yours ever, operose nihil agendo.'^'' 

What occurred within the next four hours is best described 
in the foUowino- letter, written a few davs afterward : 

"My dear Sisters, — What would we not give to be near 
you now ! Sabbath last was one of our most severe and aw- 
ful wintry days. In the evening the winds were fearful. 
We went to bed after eleven, afraid of the fierce winds. Be- 
tween .three and four o'clock we were aroused by the pecul- 
iar, agonized shriek of a woman at the door, ' You are burn- 
ing ! you are burning up !' I sprung from my bed, and groped 
my way upstairs to my study in the dark and in the smoke, 
to get a match to kindle a lamp. I came back, put on my 
boots and pantaloons, tying the suspenders around me, nnd 
throwing away my draw^ers in haste. Thus equipped, I 



320 JOHN TODD. 

was ready. I first screamed for my family to come to me, 
then ran to the front door and screamed, ' Fire I fire !' Mrs. 
Todd gathered the three babies into one bed, in their night- 
clothes, and thus the men, whose loud shouts were now heard, 
snatched them up and carried them out. For five minutes 
it was doubtful whether I could get my family out alive. 
Then the shouts were heard,' Mr. Brace is left !' ' Little John 
is left !' ' Where are the children ? for heaven's sake, get 
them out !' The roof had begun to fall in. As soon as the 
children were safe, I made for my study, now sheeted with 
flames, and began to throw from the windows, which I first 
dashed out with my foot. Out went the books, pell-mell, into 
the snow and soot ; out, out, out, went tables, and bureaus, 
and wardrobes, and every thing. As soon as the study was 
cleared as much as it could be, I made for Mr. Brace's room, 
and pitched out his books, and down they went, and after 
them went tables, and bedsteads, and globes, and secretaries, 
etc. I stood there till nearly surrounded with flames, and till 
every thing was out. In the mean time the scene was fear- 
ful. It was intensely cold, the wind w^as high, and, oh, the 
bright flashes of the fire as it leaped and licked through the 
chambers, the wild cry of the men, the crash and crush and 
smash of furniture, the roar of the fire, the fiilling of timbers, 
the shoutino; of maddened men in the backs^round ! But on 
it went, smash, crash, till it was all over. It seemed as if the 
sun would never rise ; but when it did rise, what a scene ! 
The streets filled with furniture, broken and destroyed, car- 
pets half burned, china in fragments, ray beautiful home in 
ashes, and my children and wife somewhere, but I knew not 
where. Here I stood over the burning mass, with a family 
of eleven hanging on me, my home and my all gone ! What 
a sensation ! I knew that three-fourths of ray manuscripts 
were gone, all our trunks and linen, and much clothing, my 
library of one thousand volumes nearly destroyed, all my 
valuable papers, including some nearly ready for publica- 
tion, all the correspondence of ray life — all, all, gone forever ! 
But I knew that, had we slept five minutes longer, Mr. Brace 
had been no more, and that the joyous laugh of ray only son 
had been quenched forever, and I felt resigned that all the 
rest should go — it was nothing. You can not, however, con- 
ceive of my distress. ' You are in good spirits, and we re- 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 321 

joice to see it, ]Mi-. Todd,' said many. * Yes, it is all I have 
left, sir,' was my reply. 'But now, O Lord, thou art our 
Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter.' 'It is the 
Lord, let him do what Seemeth good in his sight.' My peo- 
ple have been kind beyond expression. The ladies are try- 
ing to make Mrs. Todd and the children comfortable. In 
three hours after the fire they had procured us another beau- 
tiful home, had hired the family to move out of it, had moved 
the family out, and by dark had the fragments of our tine 
furniture in it. I suppose that twelve hundred dollars would 
probably not replace our losses, to say nothing about the 
house. But the Lord has been gracious to us beyond all 
that we deserve. This is a dark cloud sweeping across our 
path. May it be sanctified to us all !" 

The story of the disaster awakened great sympathy not 
only among Mr. Todd's people, but in the places where he 
had been previously settled, and brought him many tokens 
of it. 

"December 26th. 

" Our people here have been all kindness, and w^e have re- 
ceived many gifts from all sources. The year has been a 
heavy one to me : our moving, our losses at Philadelphia, 
the fire — and yet we are alive, and the head is yet out of the 
water. How it has been done is more than I can say ; but, 
somehow or other, I have paid a great amount of money in 
1842, and yet I am not so much in debt as I was a year ago. 
The Lord has given it in as needed, and that is all that I can 
say. 

"P.S. — The twelfth turkey has just arrived." 

A few days after this, Mr. Todd returned to Philadelphia, 
to deliver his promised lecture. It was his first visit since 
his removal. 

" January 6th, 1843. 

"It seemed strange to tread those unchanged streets 
again. All the past six years came rushing in upon the 
memory most bitterly ; but a few" scalding tears gave great 
relief The providence, so dark w^hen I left, is still equally 
dark. I saw but few of my friends till my lecture, Thursday 
evening : then they came around, with tears and smiles and 
sobbings. I never had such a reception. The great church 
(Central Presbyterian) was crowded; over three thousand 



822 JOHN TODD. 

tickets had been taken. My lecture was well received, and 
it was after it that my poor flock came from all quarters to 
greet rae. I never saw any thing like it. Every night I met 
them at some one of their houses. The first evening there 
were sixty present, and so every evening till the last, when 
over one hundred came to spend the evening with me. Ev- 
ery evening was closed with tears, singing, and prayer. On 
the Sabbath,! preached in the morning for Mr. Patton, at noon 
visited my oion Sabbath-school, in the afternoon preached for 
Mr. Rood, and in the evening (would you think it?) in my 
old church and pulpit, the house that you and I so solemnly 
dedicated to God ! I felt as if I could wot do it, but thought 
it best to show that I had no resentments. The house was 
piled up full, and more than full. I preached with a bosom 
boiling over with emotion, but outwardly as calm as if in my 
own study. It was a wonderful hour. My text was Reve- 
lation, xix., 6. If I had not derived consolation from my own 
sermon, I do not believe I could have got through with it. 
It seemed, as I stood there between the pillars in my own 
pulpit, with my hand on the Bible, with Kingsley at the 
organ — it all seemed a dream, a mere dream ; and I never 
before so clearly realized that life is but a dream. Thank 
God, I lived through it ! 

"While I was gone, my church visited all the church mem- 
bers. The visit had done great good. On the Sabbath the 
congregation was very solemn. In the evening there were 
solemn inquiries. The Spirit of God has been with us. The 
whole town is awed. I have seen as many as fifty anxious 
ones. Some of these are trembling in hope. Among others, 
we do hope our dear Mary may be numbered. She is won- 
derfully altered ; but God only knows the heart. We hope 
and pray that we are to have a great work of God here. 

"I am thinking of a Sabbath evening when, with much 
trembling, I ventured to appoint an inquiry-meeting, as it 
seemed to me the Spirit of the Lord was among my people. 
In a dimly lighted room I met them, and, to my amaze- 
ment, there were over thirty. I am thinking how I went 
up to a little girl who sat by herself, weeping bitterly. Her 
head was down. I said, ' My little one, do you so feel your 
sins that you feel the need of a Saviour?' *I do, oh, I do !' 
'Whose little girl are you?' 'Why, father ! I'm your own 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 323 

Mary!' My blood seemed to curdle cold in my heart. None 
but a father situated just as I was can know my feelings. 
For weeks she remained in great distress of mind, and lay 
like a little boat rocked in the storm, with no pilot to guide 
her into the harbor. I waded into the deep waters to reach 
and save my child, but my arm was too short. But I saw 
her led forth by a hand mightier than mine, and I followed 
after to see her come to land and sing of salvation on the 
shore. Hope gradually poured her warm, soft light into the 
soul, and darkness and distress were gone. The child re- 
ceived the kingdom of heaven as a little child, and from that 
hour religion became interwoven into her character." 

The revival resulted in between eighty and ninety hope- 
ful conversions. After it was over the overworked pastor 
felt, as always, the reaction of so much anxiety and excite- 
ment. 

"June 1st. 

"I have a body full of ills and aches, and an oppression of 
spirits that is any thing but desirable. I trust it is, in part 
at least, from the body ; I sometimes fear it is inherited. I 

shudder at my ow^n thoughts at times It is so cold here 

that we are all blue. People have to sit up nights, because 
they have no bedclothes, having used them all up in cover- 
ing up gardens, currant-bushes, etc. As for me, I have said 
to ray garden, ' Go to the dogs !' and it is going there, or 
somewhere else, fast. People are putting up the stoves 
again in their parlors. We keep four great fires, and should 
have one or two more if John were here to bring in wood. 

It is a fortnight and two days since winter set in I am 

overrun with ' agents ' from the West — poor, impudent, and 
saucy. I h^ve always been sorry that my rifle was burned 
up." 

Near the close of this year, Mr. Todd received a letter 
from a minister in Illinois which kindly and gently broke to 
him tidings which completely overwhelmed him. "I sat 
down in astonishment and tears, and it w^as some days be- 
fore I could lift up my head." His brother Jonathan had 
always been the favorite one, as he was the best known to 
him, of all his brothers and sisters. "There was no human 
being on earth, yjrevious to my marriage, whom I loved as I 
did that brother. We were boys and orphans together. The 



324 JOHN TODD. 

highest luxury wliich we ever knew was to meet each other. 
He was, from boyhood, a great-souled creature, and I never 
knew him to do a thing unworthy of liimself. I knew him 
more thoroughly than any other one, and I never knew a 
more noble-hearted man. Pie never had a good example, or 
kind or judicious training in childhood, and my wonder has 
always been that his defects as a man were not much more 
prominent and marked." This brother had removed, w^itli 
his large and fine family, from St. Albans, Vermont, where 
he had first settled, to Illinois, where, having no acquaint- 
ance with localities, he had bought a farm in about as un- 
healthy a region as he could have found. The letter re- 
ferred to detailed the terrible consequences, which were an- 
nounced by Mr. Todd to his only remaining brother, in the 
following terms : 

"November 27th. 
"Are you prepared to weep with those who weep ? Are 
you ready to hear any tidings which God may send you, 
however astounding? Can you read a scroll like that of 
the prophet written within and without with lamentation 
and woe ? Come then, let us weep together. I can hardly 
realize the tale of woe which I am about to write. May 
God give you strength to bear it. On the 16th of Septem- 
ber, my namesake, John Todd, aged eighteen, was called 
into eternity. He was a noble fellow, and they feel that he 
died in the Lord, and will rise again with the just. This 
death made a very deep impression on the whole family. 
In three weeks after the death of John, William, aged fifteen, 
was taken sick. Hopes were entertained that he would re- 
cover, but the disease grew violent. He was, as they think, 
prepared to go. Just before his departure, he called his 
mother and brothers and sisters, and bade them a most af- 
fectionate farewell, saying that he was going to heaven, and 
then calmly passed away. His death was so gentle, that his 
mother felt that he had fallen into a sweet sleep. Oh that 
I could stop here, and say to you, ' My tale is done !' But, 
alas ! the heaviest part is yet to come. On the same day 
that William was taken sick, Jonathan himself was taken, 
and lay prostrate in the same room, within a few feet of his 
son when he died. There he lay, our brother, our own dear 
Jonathan. Did we not love him? Was he not worthy of 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 325 

our love ? As we look back to the days of boyhood, do we 
not see that we had cause to love him ? and does it seem 
possible that he is gone, and we shall see him no more ? It 
is so — Jonathan Todd, our own dear brother, is dead ! From 
his being taken down, he was confident that he should not 
recover. He was disposed constantly to consider himself 
as unwoithy, unfaithful, and deficient in Christian duty, 
while at the same time he admired and indorsed and won- 
dered at the goodness of God toward him. He told his pas- 
tor he could not give up his hope. ' Oh no,' said he, with an 
emphasis peculiarly solemn, ' I can not, I can not give up my 
hope !' This hope, which had been an anchor to his soul in 



urnicr 



3? 



the storms and conflicts of life, was now bright, end 
and strong. And he has passed away from us forever. 
Even now, my dear brother, I have not told all. When 
Jonathan was dying, Timothy, the eldest son, was also sick, 
and in a few days he also was called to die. He gave de- 
lightful evidence of being a Christian. His views were 
deep, clear, and Scriptural. He w^ent up, after the others, 
on the 24th of October, aged about twenty. He had a strong 
desire to live for the sake of his mother, but told her that 
God would take care of her without him. Thus, in one short 
month, the trunk of the tree, and the beautiful branches, 
have been cut down and withered. They all sleep side by 
side in a lonely spot on the farm, till the archangel's trump- 
et shall call them to come forth. Sweet memories will 
long cluster around that lonely spot, where the four have 
gone to lie side by side. What a tale of sorrow is this! The 
tidings came to me like a thunderbolt, and I have been sick 
ever since I received the letter." 

To his father-in-law, whose youngest son was very sick at 
the time, he wrote, a few days later: 

" We must bow, and be still, and trust in God. He is 
wise, and holy, and good, though he does not order things 
as we could wish. It was needful for Christ to be tempted 
in all points like unto his brethren, and it seems necessary 
that his ministers should also pass through all the scenes 
through which our people pass, and that they should see us 
practice the resignation which we teach them to practice. 
How could they know that we should not falter on this 
point, if they never saw us tried? I have waded deep in 



326 JOHN TODD. 

affliction lately, and the more deeply that my friends were 
all strangers to my family, and I had no one to know what 
I lost. You are now passing through the waters. Oh, how 
many of our parishioners have we seen pass through the 
same ! Let us commit all to our covenant God. He knows 
what is best." 

Close upon the tidings of the death of his brother and his 
sons, came the intelligence that his aged, unfortunate mother 
was at last released from a world in which she had been be- 
wildered for half a century. The conduct of Mr. Todd to- 
ward this unhappy mother was one of the most remarkable 
and characteristic things in his history. She had never been 
a mother to him; even in his childhood he had never re- 
ceived from her any motherly caresses : in after-years she 
had never recognized him. And yet, from the moment that 
he began to earn a livelihood, he devoted himself to the care 
of this mother, taking her from the poor-house, and hiring 
for her a comfortable home and the best of attention, fre- 
quently visiting her, to see that she was properly cared for, 
and exercising through others a constant supervision over 
her. With all his large family and great expenses, even in 
the hardest times, when his salary was unpaid for months, 
and money could only be obtained at an enormous premium, 
he never failed to send his remittance for his mother at the 
appointed time. When other resources failed, he seized his 
pen, and wrote at night, and became an author, solely for the 
sake of obtaining money for his mother. And when, in her 
extreme age and feebleness, she required extraordinary care, 
he furnished cheerfully every thing that was needed, till the 
modest headstone was set up at her grave. It was, of course, 
impossible to mourn the loss of such a mother as a different 
kind of mother would have been lamented. Yet the son 
writes : " Though my poor mother never knew me, yet I 
have a sense of loneliness which I did not expect." Those 
who were acquainted with all the circumstances of the case 
sympathized with the minister, and almost brother, who had 
watched over the unfortunate woman, and followed her to 
the grave, in the feelings which he could not help expressing 
to the son : " If I were to specify that in your life which I 
most admire, it would not be your untiring industry, your 
unyielding perseverance, no, nor even the best productions 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 327 

of your pen, but — your kindness to your mother. Those I 
have admired, but in this I have seen the heart of an affec- 
tionate son, and I love you for it !" The son himself, how- 
ever, with characteristic humility and conscientiousness, saw 
nothing remarkable in what he had done. " I have for years 
felt that so long as she lived my life was safe; for I trusted 
that God would not cut me oif and leave that helpless creat- 
ure friendless. I have expended over two thousand dollars 
for her, but I count it nothing, nothing at all, in comparison 
with the satisfaction I have in view of the past. I praise 
God that I have had the privilege of taking care of her so 
long. Others have commended me for it, but I feel that I 
deserve no commendation. I have done no more than I 
should hope a child would do for me, and no more than my 
duty." 



328 JOHN TODD. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD — COUtmued. 

A new Parsonage. — Not much to Do. — Berkshh-e Jubilee. — A Book -seller. — 
Samuel. — Revival. — The Farm. — Desire for a Home. — Great Preparations. 
— The lame Boy's Wedding, Sickness, and Death. — Death of Doctor Shep- 
ard. — Chronicles. — The new Lecture-room. — A good Fight. — D.D. — 
Beautiful Gardens. — Six Towels. — A remarkable President. — Fanny For- 
rester. — The sick Baby. — Physicians Baffled. — Still with us. — Lent to the 
Lord. — A great Vacancy. — An Epitaph.— Wonderful Work. — The Spirit 
here. — Three Times in a Fortnight. — King's Sons, 

In less than a year after the burning of the parsonage, it 
was rebuilt and occupied. The planning of it was left en- 
tirely to the pastor, the only limitation, as to design, be- 
ing that it should conform to the old foundations, which re- 
mained uninjured. It was built in the cheapest manner, the 
original contract specifying thirteen hundred dollars as its 
cost. Various improvements and alterations have since been 
made in it, but none materially affecting its appearance. 
The growth of Pittsfield, how^ever, has increased the value 
of the place tw^enty-fold. Here Doctor Todd lived for thirty 
years, till every room became associated for him with scenes 
of deepest interest, and the whole grew to be a part of his 
very existence. 

To Mrs. J. W. P . 

" March 4th, 1844. 
" We have got into our new house, and find it very con- 
venient and comfortable. Here we have been all winter. 
My people had bought the parsonage before I came, but had 
not paid even the interest on it. Then it was burned down, 
without insurance, and so they have been feeling amazingly 
poor ; but I think they will live through it. As for me, I 
think (when I can get any thoughts), write till my wrist 
aches, visit the sick till I feel diseased, attend funerals till I 
feel mournful, and the rest of the time write sermons and 
books, and make bee-hives. I am now delivering a course 
of lectures to the young men ; and though you might think 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 329 

the subject exhausted, I actually find several things to say, 
aud shall probably spin out my thoughts so as to make a 
book as large as any one will want to buy, and larger than 
any one will wish to read. I don't have much to do. Let 
me see : a parish of over two thousand souls, three sermons 
on the Sabbath, three services between Sabbaths, chairman 
of the school-committee and sixteen schools to take care of, 
a church of over six hundred members, over fifty funerals a 
year, letters, calls, visits, journeys, etc., to say nothing about 
authorship. I forgot a new and brilliant map to make for 
every monthly concert, and ten thousand other things too 
numerous to mention. I wish I had about seven acres of 
land, and then I verily believe I might contrive to fill up 
my time. I am popular when I do just as the people want 
to have me ; but when I touch their darling sins, they rear 
up, and threaten to fall over and crush the poor driver Avho 

sits on the box We rejoice to hear that you are well, 

and happy, and useful. And the hahy ! Who would have 
thought! Well, I wish him all good things except beauty. 
Having suffered so much myself in that way, I can not wish 
others to suffer thus." 

In the summer of 1844, there was held a great gathering 
of people of Berkshire County origin. It was called the 
Berkshire Jubilee ; and the hill, west of the village, on 
which it took place has ever since been called Jubilee Hill. 
From his position, and because of his energy and executive 
ability, Mr. Todd naturally had to shoulder a large share of 
the responsibility and labor of the undertaking, and was the 
cause of much of its success. Upon him also devolved the 
labor of preparing the history of the event, which he per- 
formed successfully^ so far as the interest of the work was 
concerned, but with what pecuniary profit to himself will 
be seen from the following, written to his brothei", the next 
spring : 

"I had set my heart on coming to see you this summer; 
and by extra sitting up nights last winter, making Jubilee 
books, and writing some other things, I had got a book- 
seller three hundred and sixty dollars in my debt, when, lo ! 
he fiiiled and ran off, and I am left to stay at home. This 
is about the history of all the money I have tried to save. 
Within the twelve years past, I have lost over six thousand 

22 



330 JOHN TODD. 

dollars of money honestly and hardly earned. I believe that 
Providence intends me to be a poor man. But I have much, 
very much, to be thankful for and to be liappy in." 

In the fall of this year occurred another of those domestic 
events which always gave him so much pleasure : 

" November 8tli, 1844. 

"Dear Parents, — The Lord has been very gracious to 
us, and we want you to help us to praise his name. This 
morning our little hoy was sent to us, a perfect, fair, and 
beautiful child, weighing over eleven pounds. You can 
hardly realize how much joy it gave us to have a son. Mrs. 
Todd at once pronounced his name Samuel — asked of the 
Lord." The name did not particularly please the family, 
and as the name of Samuel Walley, the father's old friend in 
Boston, was subsequently adopted, the little one was almost 
always called Walley. " The child is very quiet, fat, blue 
eyes, etc. I trust that He who creates mouths will not for- 
get to feed them. We have now only seven cliildren. I 
wish they were a dozen. 'Blessed is the man who hath his 
quiver full of them.' " 

The spring of 1845 was marked by another revival of 
religion. There had been a tendency toward worldliness 
among the people during the winter, which grieved the pas- 
tor's heart ; and he came out with some sermons of great 
plainness and solemnity, and preached them, at first not 
without offense, but with decided effect. The conscience 
of the church was touched, and others were moved. "For 
three months back I have preached three times on the Sab- 
bath, and attended at least four meetings between Sabbaths. 
We have had many delightful conversions — forty, perhaps, 
among mv own people, half of whom were boarders in Mr. 
Tyler's school." 

This spring was also marked by several less important 
but interesting events in the home circle. One of these 
was the purchase of a small farm, not far from the village. 
It was always the life-long desire of Mr. Todd to obtain a 
home of his own, where he could settle down and rest when 
the work of life was over. Very soon after going to Pitts- 
field, he found a large, unproductive field near the village 
which could be ])urchased for four hundred dollars. So 
strong was his desire to have a home, and so much faith had 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 331 

he in the future of Pittsfield, and tlie consequent safety, at 
least, of the investment, that he went to some of his parish- 
ioners and proposed to them to join liim in the purchase, 
which he was unable to make alone. They felt, however, 
that they had " no money to invest in a cow-pasture." That 
ofround is now intersected with several streets, and has 
many residences upon it, several of which are among the 
most beautiful and expensive in Pittsfield, and one of which 
is among the most elegant and costly in the State. The lit- 
tle farm w^as purchased in the hope of making it at some 
time the long-desired home, and many were the plans for 
building at " Wyalusing," with which its owner amused 
himself. "When, after some years, the place was sold, his 
hopes were transferred to one building-spot after another; 
but they were never realized. Like the patriarchs of old, 
he all his life dwelt in tabernacles, always seeking, and never 
finding, a permanent home, and died, not having received the 
promise, but looking for it still, beyond the sunset. 

Other family events which occurred about the same time 
were the baptism of Walley, and the marriage of his lame 
brother, Joab. 

"April 17th. 

" Dear Parents, — As to your coming, it is our song, and 
our saying, and our doing, and our thinking. It will truly 
be an expensive business to us ! Mrs. Todd has got at least 
two great new carpets on purpose, and a huge new bureau 
made, and a new window cut to let out the last rays of 
darkness ; and the children new dresses all around ; and for 
this event we are all preparing; Joab is going to be mar- 
ried to honor the visit ; our bees have a new yard ; our hens 
ditto, and the old hen is just getting out her chickens for 
the occasion ;• Jenny thinks of having a calf ready ; and 
Violetta has made a whole barrel of soap, and it's all tum- 
ble and turn carpets, bed-quilts, dresses, etc., to get ready. 
Yerily, if you don't find us all ready w^th cap in hand and 
our shoes brushed, then I don't know. Little Samuel ex- 
pects to be baptized, the Sabbath you are here, by his 
grandfather; and there is not a chick on the premises which 
does not look forward to the event as one of surpassing 
interest. From garret to cellar it is all overturn and get 
ready. The best of all invitations must be the scampering 



332 JOHN TODD. 

and scudding through the house to get ready. So don't 
feel that we don't write. We are so full of it, that we sup- 
pose, of course, you must be. I forgot to say, too, that we 
are plastering with hard finish, and putting on new paper, 
and feel determined that folks who have a grand, nice 
" Xorth Parlor," shall find that other folks can have such 
also. So come on, and see what a good visit it will be. 
You astonish us in talking about your ' garden.' We have 
snow-banks here, and most horribly cold weather — as disa- 
greeable as it can well be. Garden ! we sha'n't make or 
think of ours for weeks to come yet; we wear overshoes 
and great-coats, and should wear mufi*s, if we had them." 

Mr. Brace, whose approaching wedding is here referred to, 
had now been in Mr. Todd's family, "more like a son than 
a brother," for many years. In the preceding year he had 
" completed his studies in theology, and was licensed to 
preach the Gospel. His examination was thorough, and he 
acquitted himself so well that the association had the high- 
est hopes of him. He soon afterward preached to the desti- 
tute church in Lanesboro', a small town five miles north of 
Pittsfield, who shortly gave him a unanimous call to become 
their pastor. After much delay and manj^ doubts, owing to 
another severe fit of sickness, he finally gave his consent to 
go to them. About nine months before his death, he was 
solemnly ordained to the work of Christ's ministry in Lanes- 
boro' ; and when, amidst a most fearful storm, we saw his 
feeble frame rise up to receive the ordaining hands, there 
were many tears, and a tide of sympathy moved. The father 
who preached at his ordination, and the old minister who 
charged him to be faitliful, seemed to feel that it was doubt- 
ful how long ere he would have to give up his charge." Mr. 
Todd himself was more than doubtful. "I have never ex- 
pected that he would be able to preach, and I think the 
sooner his fi-iends come to the same conclusion, the better." 

These fears w^ere justified by the result. Only two or 
three months after his wedding, he was again taken severely 
sick. "But it was so like what we had seen him go through 
before, that neither he nor we were seriously alarmed, till a 
very short time before his death. He died Monday, Septem- 
ber 22d, and the week preceding I had ridden out with him 
three times. I watched with him alone, the night preced- 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 333 

ing his death. When it came upon him, he was surprised, 
but not overwhelmed. Twice during the struggles of death 
he asked me to i>ray. That glorious eye of his was never 
so illuminated, and the smile of his life hung upon his lips 
till death. Oh, how he bade us farewell, with a voice and 
look inexpressible ! Probably I shall never recall the scene 
without tears. At the last he died, as he had lived, like a 
child ; not a finger was straightened, nor a limb moved. We 
laid him among his own people, at Lanesboro', cut off on 
the threshold of life, of hope, and of usefulness. Few ever 
die so much beloved. He was a creature of the affections, 
and home was the place where his sensitive spirit rested. 
Since the revival here, two years ago, he has been a different 
man from ever before, more chastened, more subdued, and of 
deeper piety. He walked with God since that time. Often 
have w^e heard his voice of prayer in his room till midnight, 
and even till three o'clock in the morning ; and there was a 
tenderness, and a depth of emotion, in these, as he supposed, 
secret devotions seldom equaled. As all that we do and are 
will one day seem, it all seems like a dream to us. I myself 
have never felt a sorrow so deep or an affliction so severe. 
But we have unwavering confidence that it is all right, and 
all good. He is better off than longer to dwell here in a 
body so frail." Months and years after this bereavement, 
even within a short time of his own death, Mr. Todd wrote : 
" I dream about him every night. Last night I walked with 
him, and he talked and leaned on my arm, just as he used to 
in the snow, only I thought he was heavier than ever before. 
Then I aw^ake to tears." Such sorrows did not produce im- 
pressions upon him which were soon effaced ; but each of 
them left a deep, incurable, and always bleeding wound in 
his loving nature, till at last their increasing number almost 
drained his very life. Two other such (but lesser) sorrows 
came near the close of the year. Mrs. Todd's youngest 
brother, John, who had been taken sick at his house, and 
over whom he had watched night and day, and who had al- 
w^ays been feeble, like his brother Joab, followed him into 
eternity. But he had been less intimately associated with 
Mr. Todd. Quite as great a loss to him was that of old 
Doctor Shepard, of Lenox, whose whole-souled piety and 
friendship, and hearty, cheerful manner, made him particu- 



334 JOHN TODD. 

larly congenial and beloved. Every day for more than a 
fortnight did Mr. Todd drive down in the intense cold over 
the crisp snow to take by the hand his dying father and 
friend, and comfort him in the dreadful anguish of his terri- 
ble disease; and Avhen he came away for the last time, hav- 
ing laid the venerable form beneath the winter snows, he 
felt that there was a void in his circle of friendship which 
would never be filled. 

"And Samuel died, full of years and honors, and all the 
people lamented him ; and at his burial a great multitude 
mourned for him, as at the mourning of Hadad-rimmon, in 
the valley of Megiddon. Albeit Tertius, of the nether val- 
ley, was wroth, and his countenance changed; for he supposed 
that it was he who was to stand up and speak to the people 
at the grave of Samuel. 

"And it came to pass that when Samuel was buried, the 
people said, ' Lo, we are now as sheep w^ithout a shepherd ; 
there is no man to go in and out before us, to teach us 
the good way of the Lord, and to lead our little ones in the 
right path. Let us come together and see if the Lord will 
give us one heart and one mind T And w^hen they were 
come together in the house of their fathers' God, and when 
they saw the sackcloth which w^as spread over the mercy- 
seat, and over the table of show-bread, and the seat of the 
man of God empty, their hearts melted together, and their 
eyes ran down with tears. Then said they, 'Behold, our 
beautiful house is desolate ; for the godly man ceaseth, and 
the faithful faileth, from among the children of men. Who 
will show us any good T 

"Then answered John the rabbi, and said, 'Was not 
Samuel our shepherd and guide? and are not the sons in- 
stead of the fathers? Let us look to Samuel the younger, 
and put him in the place of the elder, and make him to rule 
over us in the Lord ; so shall we be fed.' And there w^as a 
good spirit upon them ; and they felt joy in their grief. 

" But it came to pass that at the self-same time there was 
an evil spirit abroad ; and he stirred up men of Belial, even 
six men, who lifted up their voice, and said, ' Ye men of Ox- 
nel, why are ye so hasty? why do ye seek to put a yoke 
upon our necks, which neither we nor our children can bear? 
Was such a thing ever told us, in the days of our fathers, 



LIFE AT riTTSFIELD, 335 

that a propliet's seat was filled ere the Lord be waited for 
and he i-aise up a j^rophet? What do ye? Ye grind the 
2)eople of the Lord, in that ye do not tarry. Lo, we will lift 
up our voice like a trumpet, and cause our chidings to be 
heard afar, so that the ears of our neighbors shall tingle.' 

"And these men of Belial cried even as the wolf crieth on 
the mountains, in so many voices that it seemeth the voices 
of many wolves. And the people forbore for a time, and 
went to their homes sad ; for their heart was set on Samuel 
the younger; and, moreover, they remembered these same 
voices of the men, even of the six, in the days of Uie great 
smoke, when the land was scorched, and the earth was 
shaken. So they rested for a few days, to see what the 
hand of the Lord would do for them. And the old judge 
mourned, and the scribes were sad, and John the rabbi 
waxed red of countenance, and was moved in spirit ; but 
they all held their peace, and said, each man in his heart, 
'Let us tarry a little; peradventure a better day shall soon 
come, and we will then prevail, and these men of Belial shall 
no more vex the people.' And so they went every man to 
his house, the six sons of Perverseness, crying out, 'Give us 
Heman the elder! give us Heman the elder!' But there 
was no voice to answer ; for the snows of the Lord were 
upon the mountains, and Echo was unable to stand before 
his cold." 

"March lOtb. 

"It is terrible getting about here; the snows and the 
drifts are so deep, and yet so soft, that it is almost impossi- 
ble to move. We have had just one hundred days of unin- 
terrupted sleighing this day ! Our new lecture-room is done, 
painted inside and out — convenient, beautiful, and attractive. 
It has its stoves, seats all painted, aisles all carpeted, and 
the pulpit is a perfect gem. We have dedicated it, and en- 
joy it very much." The building of this lecture-room was 
occasioned by a characteristic action on the part of the pas- 
tor. He had urged his people, from, the first, to secure some 
more suitable place for their meetings than the dirty old 
hall, which was used for ev^ry conceivable purpose, but they 
were slow to move, and felt too poor. At last a traveling 
theatrical company came along and engaged the hall for two 
nights, one before and the other after the evening on which 



33G JOHN TODD. 

it Avas occupied by the church. Haviug set up their stage 
and scenei-y, they refused to take it down again, as they 
thought that the minister could just as well preach from 
their stage as from the pulpit. This Mr. Todd declined to do ; 
and, when urged by some of his own people, finally declared 
that not only would he not preach from that stage, but he 
would never again attend a religious meeting in that dese- 
crated place. This resolute stand led to the immediate con- 
struction of a new lecture-room. Some time afterward, a 
friend, congratulating him on the result, said, "You 'fought 
a good light.'" "Yes," he instantly replied, "and I 'kept 
the faith,' and came very near finishing my course." 

"April Both. 

" We have our new organ up, and it makes trouble, of 
course. Was there ever a movement among singers that 
did not. Mary and John and Rollo have gone to Vermont, 
up the west side of the Green Mountains, to Middlebury and 
Xew Haven, for a long journey, to see their aunts. I \vas 
told that it w^as rash to send them off so ; but if people never 
have any responsibility laid upon them, they will never 
come to any thing." 

It was at the commencement at Williams College, in the 
summer of this year, that he was made by the college a 
D.D., and, at the same time, one of its trustees. 

To Mary. 

" Union College, July 21st. 
" I am at President Nott's, where they are very nice, and 
particular, and genteel, and hospitable. This evening I have 
been issuing my oration : a most beautiful church, the finest 
to speak in I ever saw. Oh that I had just such a church ! 
It is unlike any other that I ever saw. The audience was 
very large — one hour and a quarter — ' as well as could be 
expected.' The governor, secretary, comptroller, etc., of the 
State were present. Governor Wright doesn't look 'a bit' 
as I expected. He holds a very remarkable pen, one of the 
strongest pens in the world. I am grieved that I can not 
go over these beautiful grounds, and see them and Mr. Jack- 
son's garden. This garden is a part of the college premises, 
and the college pay a part of its annual expenses. You can 
hardly imagine any thing more beautiful than the location 
of the college, its grounds, and the fullness and richness of 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 337 

every thing here. Tlie professors are very refined gentle- 
men, but I have had no time to go to their houses. I am 
treated with much more attention than I deserve. Every 
thing is on a more democratic scale here than with us — a 

warmer atmosphere — and I am turning democratic fast 

For my chamber, I have a French mahogany bedstead, 
wardrobe, bureau, every convenience possible, and six towels! 
Tell mother of that ! Oh, the luxury of six towels ! and 
soap, and a pailful of water, in addition to the pitcher !" 
Mr. Todd was always remarkably neat in person. There 
was hardly any luxury which he prized so highly as a well- 
provided wash-stand. Some one once had the curiosity to 
watch him, and count how many times in the day he washed 
his hands. The number that day was forty. 

To Martha. 

"July 22(1. 
" The college exercises were very different from those of 
our colleges. More politics, more Xew Yorkish, and every 
thing bearing the impress of one mind, one head, one man. 
The college is a unit, and one man has made it all that it is ; 
and that man is certainly one of the most shrewd to manage 
men with whom I ever came in contact. There is no state- 
liness, no dignity, but the power to manage men, and make 
them do just as he pleases. One thing is remarkable, that 
there is no resisting law, no rebellions, no college tricks. 
This was the universal testimony of all the professors. All 
the students are allowed to go into Professor Jackson's gar- 
dens at all times, and yet not a flower or shrub is plucked 
or injured. The whole is an enigma to me, an anomaly in 
human governments. I have formed a new conception of 
the power of gardening : it certainly is a most wonderful 

art, and, if able, I would go into it The young ladies 

in this region dress quite as plainly as with us. They are 
good-looking, many of them handsome. I am told that 
'Fanny Forrester' has, with her pen, bought a little farm for 
her parents, and paid for it, all within three years. This is 
all very well, except the foolish things which she wrote for 
the money, I have never yet seen the thing which she 
wrote with which I was pleased. Xo one has a right to 
use her education and powers merely to amuse. Life is too 
important a trust thus to be squandered." 



338 JOHN TODD. 

To Rev, J. Brace. 

"September 7th, 

"Little Samuel was taken sick on Friday, and has been 
growing worse ever since. He is very low, and I Jiave many 
fears as to the resnlt. It now seems as if he mnst die. But 
God can raise him np, and in him is all our trust. He looks 
beautiful in his paleness, and it will be a terrible stroke to 
us if he must die. But I know that he belongs to God; 
he is his^ to dispose of as he sees best, and I i-ejoice to have 
him in such hands. We all love him, excessively perliaps, 
and yet I know that his Maker must love him more. He has 
but just come from the hands of God, and if he recalls the 
gift, we ought to say nothing. Let us have your prayers, 
that, whatever the event, we may be, and do, and feel right." 

" September lOtb. 

"Last night Mrs. Todd and I had a very sad night, hang- 
ing over him, and giving him up, and doubtful whether he 
could live to see another morning. But the morning has 
come, and he is here. We knov\' not what a day may bring 
forth. We are in the hands of God. He lent us this jewel, 
and if he recalls it, to place it in the crown of Christ, we 
ought to be silent. I hope w'e shall be; but we need not 
tell you that, as a child draws near the grave, he becomes in- 
expressibly near and dear." 

"September 15th. 

"The dear child is still with us. He is wasted to a skel- 
eton, and, oh, his pains and shrieks ! The skill of the physi- 
cians is baffled, and they stand confounded. He may hold 
out a day or two longer, but I have relinquished, as I thinJc^ 
nearly all hope of his life. My prayer is that he may be 
spared the agonies of the body, and be transferred kindly to 
that world where groans, and contortions, and cries of dis- 
tress are unheard. We have ever held this child as a spe- 
cial loan from God, and to be cheerfully surrendered to him. 
When you hear again, I think, undoubtedly, you w^ill hear 
of him as one who is gone to join our loved ones in that 
better country. Do you read the fifteenth of First Corinthians 
wuth new interest?" 

"September 17th. 

"Little Samuel is still with us, to the surprise of every 
body. The physicians are very attentive and watchful, day 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 339 

and night, but human skill seems unavailing. We try to 
leave the event, and him and ourselves, in the hand of God. 
We have a sort of feeling that the poor little fellow must 
go away alone, but we ought not. We bring him every 
hour to Christ, and ask him to take him up in his arms and 
bless him." 

" September 19tli. 

"The dear one is just going — is beyond the power of 
swallowing. Day and night we have hung over him, and 
watched and prayed ; but God has his own thoughts and 
ways. Amen." 

" September 28tli. 

"He died a week ago last Sabbath. He was a very 
promising little boy, and filled a large place in our hearts 
and in our family ; but at his birth we received him as a 
precious loan from God, and when we presented him in bap- 
tism, we gave him to the Lord, and when he was dying, we 
again lent him to the Lord as long as" his soul liveth. He 
suffered unspeakably during his sickness, and was twenty- 
four hours in dying. I had to preach on the Sabbath, and 
came home at noon to see him give up his little life to God, 
who gave it. We had fasted and prayed most earnestly, 
during his sickness, that if God, in his wisdom, saw best, he 
might live ; and when we saw that this was not God's will, 
we said, 'The will of the Lord be done!' We have now 
again but six children, and only one son ; but our earnest 
prayer is, that we may be led to more faithfulness to our 
children, and in the ministry, and in whatsoever our hand 
findeth to do. It makes a great vacancy in our family to 
have the baby taken away, to have his ringing laugh and 
clear voice silent in the grave ; but we trust that when 
we go to him, we shall find our jewel in the crown of 
Christ." 

In the latter part of his life Dr. Todd once said, that if all 
the little children whose funerals he had attended could be 
brought together, they would make a great congregation. 
Perhaps it was, in pai't, to fit him for such a ministry that he 
was thus a second time made to find in his own experience 
the ^3eculiar sorrows and consolations in the loss of a little 
child. It is certain that the tenderness and poetry of his 
nature made his words remarkably beautiful, and caused his 



340 JOHN TODD. 

services to be much sought for and greatly valued, on such 
occasions. 

Not long afterward the father caused a small marble mon- 
ument to be set up at the little grave, with a brief inscrip- 
tion, and the following epitaph : 

*' Te optato, precatus sum ; 
Dato, Ijetatus sum ; 
^groto, te Cliristo commendari; 
Mortuo, flevi : 

Cum te, in morte requieseam ! 
Iterum, tecum, sim dignus, ero ! 
Vale, o ter car us, vale !"* 

It is worthy of note that in later years, when his grown 
children died, he wrote no epitaphs. The deeper sorrow re- 
fused such consolations. 

The old church had by this time become so crowded that 
a division began seriously to be talked of. " The complaint 
is, that they are too prosperous, too full, too crowded." 

To 3£rs. Todd, ahsent from Home. 

"February IStli, 1847. 

"The division is more and more the subject of conversa- 
tion ; and I believe it is the universal opinion, with but few 
exceptions, that it had better be done, and that now is as 
good a time as ever can be to do it. Amen. I think it will 
break us up, but that fear must not be expressed. The only 
way to prevent it is, to determine that it shall not do it. I 
attended a funeral yesterday of an old Methodist — not much 
of a Christian, as well as the rest of us. Mary gets along- 
very well, drives all before her; Irish and Dutch have to 
stand around." 

" March 1st. 

"I have been at work very hard in preaching and prayer- 
meetings, in hopes that God would be pleased to grant us a 
revival. But the wind does not come, and the spices do not 

When thou wast desired, I prayed ; 

Given, I rejoiced; 

Sick, I commended thee to Christ; 

Dead, I wept ; 

With thee in death I shall rest ! 

Again with thee, if I am worthy, I shall be ! 

Farewell, O thrice-dear, farewell ! 



LIFE AT PITTS FIELD. 341 

flow out of the garden. How little can we do without the 
Spirit of God !" 

Only three days after this he wrote : '* I drop a line to 
you to entreat that you and mother would pray for us, espe- 
cially for Martha. The Spirit of the Lord is in some meas- 
ure here. The boarders in the school are under powerful 
impressions ; and a terrible conflict is going on in the mind 
of dear Martha. I am beseeching God, with many tears, 
that she may live. She has shed many herself. I know 
that God can be glorified though Israel be not gathered; 
and I know that he can be glorified even though my chil- 
dren are lost ; but how can I go up to my Father's house, 
and the child go not with me? Oh that God would have 
mercy on my child I" 

"March 6th. 

"The work of the Lord is most wonderful in Mr. Tyler's 
school. I have never seen any thing like it during my 
ministry. Between twenty and thirty of the boarders have 
hopefully been born again within one week. The work is 
commencing, as I hope, among the day-scholars. Our Mar- 
tha is in very great distress of mind. We pray very much 
for her, and so do many, many others. We have had among 
my people some most curious meetings. I have preached, 
at home and abroad, twelve times since last Sabbath morn- 
ing. We seem to be in great suspense, fearful lest the cloud 
go past ; and very irritable and fretful, and almost quarrel- 
ing, because we must, in the church, repent of our sins." 

" March 21st. 

" The work is very powerful in the schools, very searching 
and thorough. It leaves some to groan in despair. I have 
met one hundred and sixteen in all in the inquiry-meeting. 
Of these about half are hoping in Christ. But the work is 
hitherto mostly confined to the schools. The most discour- 
aorinor thinsc amonor us is, that verv few Cliristians are awake, 
or know or care any thing about it. Why is it that it is 
so much more difficult for even the Holy Spirit to awaken 
Christians than to convert sinners? I do not know what to 
do, except to hope and to pray that God will save by the 
few, as he did under Gideon. We can not but hope that 
dear Martha and John have the divine principle within 
them. They appear so changed, so delightful, that it seems 



342 JOHN TODD. 

too much to believe. And Isaac, poor ignorant hired boy, 
he too has been called, and, so far as the poor fellow knows, 
feels as if there had been a great change in him. How won- 
derful, if it be so, that He, the latchet of whose shoes we 
are not worthy to unloose, should come under our vooi three 
times within a fortnight ! We know that you will help us to 
praise redeeming mercy. I am full of anxieties and labors 
among my people, and feel afraid that Christ can not do 
many mighty works here, because of our unbelief How I 
think oi Joab now ! Four years ago, in the revival, he was 
here, how active and prayerful ! The 'former rain,' in olden 
time, was to pi-epare the ground for the seed, and the ' latter 
rain' to fill out and ripen the harvest. Was he not then re- 
ceiving the latter rain? And when they rejoice in heaven 
over one sinner that repenteth, is he not rejoicing with pe- 
culiar joy ? Has he not a knowledge of what is doing here? 
Is he not unspeakably blessed? ' Xeither do they die any 
more !' I feel that he is to be envied rather than mourned; 
but in this revival my mind turns to him with indescribable 
emotions. He was to me an eldest son, and no more sincere 
mourner has he left on earth. Oh, if we might but meet in 
heaven ! How soon shall we know all about it ? Are Joab 
and Jolm and my two babes together? Have the former 
things passed away to them ? I hope they are indeed king's 
sons, and are now inheriting: the crown of life. Amen." 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 343 



\ 



CHAPTER XXV. 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD — continuecl. 

An absent Child. — Letters of Encouragement.— " Make them love you."— 
Not Beloved enough. — Not Affectionate enough. — Children joining the 
Church. — Blue-pill Diet. — Preparations. — Winter at Hand. — A fairy Thing. 
— A sick Child. — A big Temperance Pledge. — Two ends of a Glass. — Mag. 
— Tableaux. — Colonizing meditated. — Once more an Editor. — Another 
Baby. — Worse than a Ghost. — " I'll be Mum," — Laying a Corner-stoue. — 
A Mighty Pyramid.— Miss Lyon.— John Foster.— First Meeting of the 
American Board. — A peculiar Revival. — An endless -chain Meeting. — A 

• pleasant Revival. — Close of the Year. — A Fire. — The Father of Church- 
es. — Proposals from Philadelphia. — Visit to New Haven. — Memories. — 
*' Didn't know he was so much hurt." — A surgical Operation. — Voice vs. 
Brains.— A Dedication. 

Ix the spring of 1847, Mary, the oldest child, who had 
graduated brilliantly at Maplewood Institute the year be- 
fore, received and accepted an offer to teach in a town on 
Cape Cod. The following are extracts from her father's let- 
ters to her: 

"May 6th. 

"My dear Maey, — I have but a moment to write. Your 
mother came home yesterday, a year older than when she 
left" [her biithday having occurred], " lean and hungry, 
having starved herself at every hotel. Uncle Collins came 
here the day she left, sick and very nervous; and Martha is 
wretched with the headache ; and so I, as usual, am the only 
heart}", handsome, and blithe man among them all. No great 
news has been stirred up since you left us, except that we 
have had storms, and cold, and winter, and I — a new hat! 
We are all upon the jump, since yesterday was a pleasant 
day, and to-day promises to be another, and we are all over- 
whelmed with the pressure of spring-business. Kow, Mary, 
I know just how you feel, for I used to feel just so myself 
when I kept school, albeit I had no home to think of. I have 
great confidence in your power and ability to do any thing 
you please, and the power to make warm friends, if you will 
only try it. I dreamed about you all last night, and came 



344 JOHN TODD. 

to see you, and a queer place I found you in, truly ! But I 
have much confidence in the divine Protector, and in your 
own good judgment and lofty character. You can not help 
succeeding in any thing in which you will try. Make tJie 
children love yoii, make all the folks love you. If you suc- 
ceed well this summer, you will have an enviable reputation 
as a scholar and a teacher. This discipline, which seems so 
hard to you, is the very thing you need. It was my food 
during all my youth, and even till this day. I intend, if 
you are a good girl, to write much and often. Be as agree- 
able as possible. They are all prepared to show that they 
will esteem and love you. At your age I had to be a man, 
and at the same age you must be a woman. Write often, 
cheer up, keep busy, think not of yourself or of us, but of 
making every body happy. 

" Yours, Maryissimus, J. Todd." 

"May 10th. 
" Congratulate yourself that you are not here. House- 
cleaning ! carpets up, dust flying, rooms topsy-turvy, women 
screaming, men coughing, kitchen eating, bedlam greeting — 
what a week ! Well, I'm to be in New York one day out 

of it all We were greatly glad to hear from you. I 

want you should be happy and faithful. You canH work 
harder than your poor daddy has always done. I want you 
should be pleased with every body, and try to please every 
body. I'll tell you a secret. You and I will ever be likely 
to be respected enough ; but, unless we are careful, we shall 
not be beloved enough. I would not have much formality 
in your school. Mother says you have a sweet set of girls. 
I would not have any monitors or monitresses. It will not 
be necessary, and it will only make you more distant and 
formal — the very tiling you want to avoid. We think much 
of you, and pray much for you. Oh, why caii^t you hear 

Mr. preach ! What a loss to you — to him ! I suspect 

he comes all the way to preach to you and other sinners. 
It's delightful weather here, and I hope it is with you. Be 
good, be cheerful, be agreeable, be obliging, and remember 
that you will be happy just in proportion as you make oth- 
ers happy." 

"May 30th. 
" I have been out of health myself of late, having a de- 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 345 

pression of spirits and courage, energy and hopes, very un- 
usual witli me. I hardly know what to make of it, or what 
to do for it. The spring has come on with a voice of glad- 
ness, and in a pathway of flowers. We have planted two 
mountain ash-trees, and one lime, or linden, tree, in our front 
yard, all of which now promise to live. We are also dip- 
ping into the land of roses Be punctual in your corre- 
spondence. Do you attend prayers in your own school- 
room by yourself? I heard that Mr. spoke very well 

of you in Boston last week, and I hope you will gain the ap- 
probation of all. We don't tell you how much we want to 
see you. It isn't time to think of that. Keep busy as you 
can. I want you should walk much every day, in all weath- 
ers, as soon as you can accustom yourself to it. Do take 
as much exercise in the open air as you can. Do you call 
on any of the parents of your children ? I want to have you 
do so, and you will find it pleasant." 

"June 12th. 
" I am a perfect boy when your letters don't come, and 
when they do. If you could see how eagerly I watch for 
them, and how glad I am to receive them, or how much I 
want to see you, you would not doubt that you are remember- 
ed here, and much thought of. ... . As to 's sociableness, 

you and I are not by nature very social or very communi- 
cative. We appear reserved to others, and I think we are. 
Few can be very social with us. I believe we have hearts 
that are warm enough, but we show the cold side of them. 
If there be any thing which I especially mourn over, in the 
education of my family, it is that I have not taught them to 
be more affectionate. You, probably, come home from your 
school, weary, jaded, and sombre, with very little sunshine 
in your face, and you feel the need of some one to cheer you 
up and revive you ; and they feel that you ought to come in 
and bring sunshine and joy, and light up the countenances 
of all by your approach, as Doctor Sliepard used to do. 
Now, I wish you would try for one week, and see how affec- 
tionate you can be — not how affectionate you can appear^ 
but really he^ and see if there be not a reciprocal influence. 
We are all so much publicans, that we love those who love 
us. Try it, and see. You must not exact, or expect, much 
from the world, and then all you receive is clear gain. I do 

23 



346 JOHN TODD. 

think you are desirous of meeting our approbation, and you 
do meet it most unfeignedly in most things. I do not think 
this ajjparent want of affection is so much a moral as a nat- 
ural deficiency in you and me. It is hard work for us to be 
social and agreeable, and yet, if we try, we can be both. 
Let us try, for one week, to love every body On Satur- 
day I had the melancholy pleasure of setting up little Sam- 
uel's monument, grassing over the grave, and setting out a 
little evergreen at each of the four corners of the lot. It 
looks beautiful, but my heart yearns with an indescribable 
tenderness toward my departed child. I feel it most when 
I am away from home, and think of returning to meet my 

children As for being homesick, you must discard the 

word and the thought. Don't count the weeks, or allow 
yourself to think any thing about the end. I believe it 
will come before summer does ! We don't say any thing 
about it, or think of it. When the time comes, you will 
be sure to be welcomed. * Deeds, and not w^ords,' is my 
motto." 

"June 28th. 

"We have great expectations concerning next Sabbath. 
Nearly fifty are to join the church, a greater number than at 
any one communion since 1821, and among them our own 
dear Martha and John. My heart is greatly rejoiced in the 
prospect. I shall think of you more than ever, and do wish 

you could be with us I have been living on blue-pill 

and water-gruel for the last week — a poor kind of diet ; but 
I can't do much, and don't try. Probably I shall be off, as 
soon as the communion is over, for rest and recruiting. I 
am crippled in health and spirits, and believe all want to get 
rid of me." 

The reader may have noticed that after every season of 
great effort, and especially after every revival in his church, 
Mr. Todd suffered in health, and resorted to powerful medi- 
cine and violent exercise, thinking himself the victim of 
dyspepsia induced by bodily inactivity. It is a very com- 
mon mistake among ministers. There can be little doubt 
that he injured himself by maltreatment of what was in re- 
ality nervous exhaustion. On this occasion, as usual, his va- 
cation journey did him more good than any medicine, and 
he returned very much restored. 



LIFE AT PITTS FIELD. 347 

"September 6tb. 
"Maey dear, — We are preparing to have you come 
home — i. e., the leaves begin to fall, and the plums begin to 
go into preserves, and the harvests begin to go into the 
barn. We have, by hook or by crook, fruit enough, and 
could well spare enough to make you sick once or twice. 
Have good courage ; every week takes off one ; and when 
you get home, you'll find us looking just as we used to look, 
and we eat at the same hours, and sleep in the same beds, 
and go the same rounds ; but we'll be right glad to see you, 
' for a' that, and a' that.' I suppose that mother has written 
you all the dry news, and I have none that is moist. We do 
nothing here in the way of marrying or giving in marriage, 
and the lions are all killed off, and the thunder seems to 
•have gone into winter -quarters. When the cold weather 
comes on, and it will probably come suddenly, I want you 
to meet the scowling old gentleman all wrapped in flannels, 
so that you can look him directly in the face, and defy his 

fingers to pinch you blue or black The company are 

all gone, and I'm glad, for your good mother fumed about 
them in a way very unusual. I suppose that we men should 
be more unwilling to have company than we are, if we had 
all the hard work to do. But as it is, I do like to have a 
houseful. Still, I know it takes time and labor, and so con- 
sumes us that we are poor all the time It will soon 

now be cold weather, and glorious Berkshire will put off her 
beautiful dress, and be as barren as when you left. Well, 
you have gazed on *the dark blue sea' in the mean while, 
and have breathed salt air. Write punctually, and particu- 
larly, and patiently, and I will try to do so hereafter 

So you see the world goes on here pretty much as it does 
on the Cape. You have most water, and we have most land. 
Work is hard there, and it isn't easy here. You will very 
soon be through now, so don't borrow any trouble. You'll 
value home the more, and see that your father is handsomer 
than you ever conceived of. ... . I married a Dutchman and 
his T^'rti^, a few days since, though they could not understand 
a word of English, nor I a word of their Dutch. But they 
said I looked like a minister, and felt satisfied." 

"September 20th. 
" Old winter has already been peeping over the mount- 



348 JOHX TODD. 

ains, and piping around our ears, with his bags full of wind. 
He has sent down two of his hungry messengers, and they 
have bitten our cucumber-vines to death, and eaten up our 
squash and pumpkin vines, withered the corn, and, in short, 
eaten and bitten every thing they, could. The trees begin 
to hang down their ears, the leaves to turn yellow and sour, 
the crickets to sing their death-song, the city fry to hasten 
back to sin and sea-coal, while the very clouds look as if 
they needed great-coats. As to our farm, I'm afraid to look 

at it I do not forget that day after to-morrow will be 

the anniversary of the birth of my eldest daughter, of the 
death of Uncle Joab, and of the burial of my youngest son. 
To-day, one year ago, he died. It seems a long time since I 
saw him ; but he still comes to me with his curling locks, 
his flashing eye, and his joyous laugh of childhood. He still 
comes back to me just as he used to ride on his little horse — 

"A fairy thing, with flaxen hair, 

And eyes of blue, and downy cheek, 
And frolic limbs, and lips that were 
Striving for evermore to speak, 

"Seasons may roll, and manhood's pride 
Each youthful breast may fill. 
And one by one they'll leave my side, 
But he will be a baby still. 

"When six around the board are set, 
And call on father and on mother, 
To mortal eyes but six are met ; 
But I, but 7, can see another." 

" Have patience, and hope, and courage, dear Mary, and I 
think you will never regret the severity of the discipline." 

Very soon after this last letter, the recipient of it was 
compelled by a fever to abandon her school, Avhen the terra 
was almost at its close, and return home. The sickness 
seems to have been the beginning of her years of suffering. 

To Hev. Joab Brace. 

" November 20th. 
"Mary is very feeble, thin, scrawny, and cold — no strength 
and no vitality — no recuperative power in the system. I 

am busy, and hurried, and driven, and pestered. Mr. B , 

after having been here fifteen years, is now to be driven 
away by his people, they having just found out that he is 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 349 

not a great man or a great preacher. So we are turned off 
the moment that Ave are not wanted. I've made up mv 
mind to it, and don't mean to worry or grieve when my turn 
comes. I hope that ministers who are faithful will be appre- 
ciated better in the next world than tliey are in this. We 
are having Mr. Gough here; but every thing seems utterly 
powerless in the temperance cause." 

In spite of the discouragement here expressed, the writer 
engaged in the work with his customary ardor. Under his 
direction, when Mr. Gough had aroused immense enthusiasm, 
a huge blank book, elegantly bound and inscribed, was pro- 
cured and circulated by a committee, for the signatures of the 
whole town to the pledge. Several hundred names had been 
procured, when the volume suddenly and forever disappeared.^ 
It is said that liquor is still sold and drunk in Pittsfield. 

''December 4th. 

"My dear Wife, — The children promised you that they 
would write. I made no such promise, and yet I do more 
than they in fulfillment. As to how we get along — if you 
look through one glass, poorly : Mary is feeble and discour- 
aged ; John and Sarah have been Thanksgivingy sick ; the 
warm weather has moulded the pies, soured the turkey and 
chickens, spoiled the yeast; and there has been scolding, 
and crossness, and tewing. If you look through another 
glass, we get along finely; we have eaten up sour turkeys 
and fowls, and have good bread. Mary is getting better; 
she works adays, and I warm her bed and nurse her, nights; 
and she drives every thing except thunder and lightning 
and me. Martha and Sarah are up, and make every bed in 
the house, before breakfast ! Lucy sweeps the rooms, even 
to my study, and I don't believe a woman in the town could 
or would make the rooms look better. When they are ail- 
ing, I give them a good dose of magnesia, and that seems 
to settle them. 'Brimstone morning' comes pretty often. 
Let the symptoms or complaints be what they may, down 
goes the mag.! Isaac and I have got the windows all on, 
the chips raised up from the ground, the door of the shed 
up, and the front of the wood-house boarded up. I am up 
latest and earliest. I watch the stoves (we have nine up, 
you know, besides one dummy, and several retired upon 
pensions in the garret), and then I ride one hour on horse- 



350 JOHN TODD. 

back, when the weather is not too horrible, as it is all the 
time, and walk some when the mud is not too deep, as it is 
all the time ; besides having preached once, attended one 
teachers' meeting and one funeral, lectured once in each 
school, written several letters and one chapter, and visited 
fifteen families, all since you left. Anna eats slow and long, 
and says she thinks she is adapted to tableaux. They have 
had one tableau, and Sarah made a very good old woman, 
Lucy a boy, and Anna a little girl, all weeping at some 
tomb, except that Anna would snicker during the whole per- 
formance. The kitchen-girls were the spectators." 

"December 14th. 

*' My people have started, in full earnest, to rear a new 
church. So far their measures arejinanimous, decided, man- 
ly, and Christian. I go with them most heartily; for, what- 
ever may be the result so far as I am concerned, the thing 
ought to be done. There are not less than fifty families and 
one hundred and fifty young men who have literally found 
it impossible to get into my church ; and they must go to 
other denominations, or become heathen. I feel it a compli- 
ment that so many want to come that can not; still, I 
should not at all wonder if it should be the means of my 
leaving the place. I leave it all with Divine Providence, 
and in the mean time rejoice." 

" December 19th. 

" I have very little expectation of living to be old ; but 
if I should, I hope and believe I shall have enough of man- 
hood and wisdom, and Christian spirit to retire at a very 
much earlier age than some do. My only anxiety is, to do 
what I can while I do work. I am not troubled as to icheyi 
I must stop working. If I should live to seventy, and if I 
am then in the same mind I now am, I shall drop all : if I 
am not in the same mind, it will only prove that the judg- 
ment is so far gone that I ought to he stopped." 

In the spring of 1848, a publishing concern in Pittsfield 
started a new weekly paper, which was called the Berkshire 
Agriculturist ; and Doctor Todd was persuaded to resume, 
anonymously, the quill and the scissors, which he had not 
used for many years. His editorship continued through the 
first eleven numbers only : with the twelfth number the 
ownership and management of the paper changed. 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 351 

*' February 15tli, 1848. 
"You will recollect that I do not expect to make it a 
religious paper: that could not be sustained in this region; 
but I try to give every thing a shove that way, and to 
throw in guiding thoughts in selecting, writing, etc., which 
will lead the community aright. Xobody in the region 
knows that I have any thing to do with it. What I do to 
it, is done by candle-light, before breakfast." 

" July 12th. 

"We have been most kindly and wonderfully blessed, 
and you have a new grandson, who looks more like you than 
you do yourself He is now a great, noble fellow, and we 
hope and pray that he may live long, and honor the Lord 
Jesus." 

" October 23d. 

" Mr. Shepard came on Tuesday last — the very day I had 
to go ofl" to an ordination, and leave him. We went down to 
Lenox on Saturday to see him, and they are coming here to- 
morrow, and that is all that we shall see of him and Samuel. 
We can not well entertain Samuel, for John is such an old 
man that he doesn't run with any boys, of any size or shape. 
Mrs. Todd came home loaded wdth your kindnesses, for 
which we return you many thanks. I suppose it is as hard 
for me to feel thankful as for any body, but I have no dif- 
ficulty in exjyressing thanks." 

" December 18th. 

"I am glad that at last you have written, for I had written 
three letters to you, and no reply ! I began to think you 
were worse than a ghost ; for they say he will speak at the 

third challenge I truly sympathize with you in money 

matters, but you are a king compared with me. Last year 
we fell behind nearly three hundred dollars, and I am now 
writing for papers, and magazines, and what-nots, to get up. 
My expenses, this year, are not one cent short of twenty-one 
hundred dollars. How am I to get it? Salary twelve hun- 
dred dollars ! And yet we try to be as close and economical 
as possible." 

"Dear Mother, — Your letter to Mrs. Todd is all Greek 
and Hebrew, and Dutch and Mohawk, to me. I don't know 
what it means. The fact is, I mean to do right, to help every 



352 JOHN TODD. 

body I can, and I do so continually ; and then, what they 
say, or do, or think, or feel, I don't care a straw. I have 
nothing worth concealing, and if my shirt isn't ragged, I 
don't care who sees me with my coat off. I hate nobody, 
and dislike nobody, and am jealons of nobody, and so I get 
along well. For my life I can't see what you would be at. 
But I'll be mum, and careful, and wise, and prudent, and ju- 
dicious, and discreet, and cautious, and I hope you'll be the 
same. You may comfort yourself with this, dear mother, 
that whatever any body may say about me, it isn't half so 
bad as I deserve; and I won't quarrel with Beelzebub 
(Clarke says it ought to be Beelze^ow^.^). So get your bar- 
rel and write as often as you can. Nobody's perfect except 
Doctor Bushnell and his wife. Thine, etc." 

The closing event of the year was the laying of the cor- 
ner-stone of the church designed for the colony which ex- 
pected soon to go out from the old parish, and which subse- 
quently took the name of the South Church. So careful 
had the pastor been to avoid all bitterness during the deli- 
cate process of colonizing, that he was selected to make the 
address on the occasion ; and so kind and generous were his 
feelings toward the colony that was taking from his church 
a large part of its spiritual strength, that he could hardly 
have spoken more earnestly or affectionately had the corner- 
stone been designed for a new edifice for his own flock. His 
sentiments toward his daughter -church never underwent 
any change, except to deepen. And, on the other hand, the 
church, in spite of the facts that it naturally carried out with 
it whatever disaffected elements there were, and that it had 
to struggle for its own growth against Doctor Todd's popu- 
larity, cherished for him an increasing respect and affection. 
In his old age and leisure there was no one more welcome 
in their pulpit ; and none mourned his death more sincerely 
than the people whose hands carpeted and hung his grave 
with flowers. 

" February 3d, 1849. 

"My dear Brother, — I believe that I gave you an ac- 
count of the sickness and death of our little boy. But God 
has kindly given us another little boy, now seven months 
old, whom we call James Smith Todd, after a friend in Phil- 
adelphia. He is a very fine child, and we think altogether 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 353 

too much about him. So we have now seven chUdren living. 
3Iary is teaching Latin and Greek, two hours a day ; Martha, 
Sarah, Lucy, and Anna go to the Young Ladies' Institute. 
John goes to the Gymnasium. He is now fitteen years old, 
a tall fellow, a good scholar, and not much of a boy. How 
I shall ever contrive to send him to college, should we both 
live, is more than I can possibly conceive. My children are 
all pretty well now, though we have had much and severe 
sickness. Were it not that I pay for my tuition by lectur- 
ing weekly in three schools, I could never do it. It is with 
the utmost difficulty that I can live on my salary ; and as 
for property, I have long since made up my mind that God 
does not intend I shall have any." 

" March 11th, Sabbath evening. 
"Twenty-two years to-day since you mariied me to Mrs. 
Todd. "What years they have been ! years of wandering, 
changing, sickening, dying, hoping, rejoicing, years of mer- 
cy ! Could we rear a monument to divine goodness equal to 
what we have received, it would make the mightiest pyra- 
mid seem a dwarf. There is a very mournful satisfaction in 
the review, arising from the mingled vision of happy days 
and years, while waste and ingratitude are very prominently 
seen. In my own case, I can truly and honestly say there 
is not a spot in my life at which I can look with any feelings 
but shame and remorse. All the horizon that bounds the 
past shuts down gloomily ujoon my vision; nor dare I, 
knowing my habits of mind and body and soul, look for any 
thing much brighter in the way of my duties and labors for 

the future Miss Lyon, you see, is suddenly cut off from 

a life of great usefulness ; but God does not need any one 
instrument with which to carry on his plans. She was an 
extraordinary woman, having more physical, intellectual, 
and moral strength united in her than I ever saw in any 

other woman With great delight I have been reading 

the 'Life and Correspondence of John Foster' — a very won- 
derful mind. I have never felt deeper rebukes, or had more 
humiliating feelings, than since I have been reading him. 
He was a solitary creature, towering aloft like some huge 
castle, cold, symmetrical, strong, and awful. His chief 
power was analysis — dissecting and going to first princi- 
ples ; but when he undertook sarcasm, Achilles himself never 



354 JOHN TODD. 

poised his spear with more power. It would pierce any 
shield that was merely human. His piety was deep, cold, 
consistent, and often beautiful, and I have no doubt but 
through the horizon w^hich looks cold to us he often had 
flashes and glimmerings of eternity's light which were clear 

and warm. I want you should get and read him I 

have been quite ill of late : the old complaints have returned 
with seven other evils, and prostrated my strength, cut down 
my courage, and thrown a muffler over all that is hopeful. 
I am trying to live on coarse bread, and such unsophisticated 
materials — about as good as powdered brick w^et up with 
molasses and water. One abominates to be complaining all 
the time, and I try to make as little ado as possible ; but I 
have the impression that memory,, and judgment, and mind, 
and every mental faculty, lie so near my stomach that they 
all suffer. It may not end in a break-down, but I am not 
without serious apprehensions. God is good." 

In the preceding year Doctor Todd had instigated his 
people to invite the American Board to hold their annual 
meeting in Pittsfield, although it was deemed by many of 
his people preposterous to think of entertaining such a mul- 
titude. The invitation was accepted ; and Doctor Todd 
naturally had to assume the responsibility of carrying the 
undertaking through. Never did his executive talents have 
a better opportunity to display themselves. He organized 
energetic committees, prepared a systematic plan of opera- 
tions, and was ubiquitous and incessant in his own personal 
labors. The whole region was scoured for places for guests, 
and the people opened their doors hospitably. Among other 
offers which Doctor Todd received was one from the Shaker 
settlement, proposing to take a limited number of guests, 
but on the condition that they should consent to be lodged 
" the men apart, and their wives apart." The result of the 
undertaking was gratifying to all. The meeting at Pitts- 
field was long remembered by hosts and guests as one of 
the pleasantest, as it was one of the largest, meetings of the 
Board that had ever been held. 

" February 27th, 1850. 

"I have been laboring hard to bring about a revival, but 
'it is not of him that willeth.' We hold the half- hour 
prayer-meeting every evening at seven o'clock, which has in 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 355 

it from forty to fifty. But there is no moving among the 

dry bones. In A , where I spent last Sabbath, there is 

a peculiar state of society, and a peculiar revival. It is on 
the high-pressure principle ; and though most evidently the 
work of the Spirit, yet not (in its being guided by men) 
after my heart. I did not enjoy it so much as I should had 
it not been so much in the hands of men — an apparent feel- 
ing that God could do nothing without man's aid. Hence 
*the anxious -seats,' the 'speaking' of the young converts 
every night, and a parade of the new-comers in a way that 
spoiled it, almost, for me. Perhaps I am too cold, and too 
conservative, and too old-fashioned; but I feel very sure 
that, let the consequences be what they might, I should 
never have such doings under my administration." 

"March 26th. 
"As to my profession, I have had, and do have, not a little 
anxiety. The fact is, that in every church there are ' new- 
measure,' fiery, sky-rocket people, who feel that God can do 
little or nothing without their shouting and lifting. About 
four weeks since I established a half-hour prayer-meeting ev- 
ery evening, and called as many in as I could get in. These 
have been observed every evening since. The week follow- 
ing, the Baptists started an endless- chain meeting in their 
church every night. They got a man from Boston to come 
and preach ; then they got public * anxious-seats ;' then they 
got men and women to talk, ' tell what the Lord had done,' 
and ' confess their sins.' This goes on every evening. I 
pretend not to say but that they are doing good, and that 
souls are not converted : this is their way. I have called 
my church to observe a day of fasting and prayer this week, 
and to keep up their half- hour meetings. I have also ap- 
pointed an inquiry-meeting. This has been my way for the 
greater part of my life, and when I have varied from it ma- 
terially I have always been sorry. But some of my ardent 
and burning ones feel greatly dissatisfied. They want, and 
are determined, to have a protracted meeting, and anxious 
seats, and to run a race with the Baptists. I simply stand 
still. Unless I alter my mind greatly, I shall not do it : nay, 
I think I shall resist it at all hazards. They act and talk as 
if their minister were behind the age, cold and dry ; and they 
give thanks publicly that 'there are altars to which the poor 



356 JOHN TODD. 

perishing sinner may come,' and * warm hearts to receive 
the heart-smitten,' and they are almost out of patience witli 
me, if not quite. But I don't think the course is wise or 
Scriptural, beneficial, or safe. I am at work just as hard as 
I can. My people almost all run to the Baptists. I let 
them run. I say, ' If you want a protracted meeting, there 
is one, and you can go to that : I shall not m-ake fight 
against it by opening an opposition-line.' What will be the 
result, I don't know. But the Lord reigns, and he will do 
as he sees fit; and it is not likely, on the whole, that Z shall 
materially and successfully resist his will so as to stop his 
plans." 

"MaylSth. 

"We have had, and still have,, much religious attention 
among our people. As many as one hundred and twelve 
have been at the inquiry-meetings, and perhaps as many as 
sixty or seventy have entertained hopes. I have been very 
hard at work, and the effects have been very happy upon 
my church. It has been a mo^i pleasant revival." 

"December 30th. 

"This last Sabbath in the year is always very solemn to 
me. I attended one funeral yesterday, and preached thrice 
— *The Barren Fig-tree," Strangers and Sojourners," Where 
art thou?' The pews in my church never sold better than 
for the year coming. We have been through some trying 
scenes, but I have tried to hold the helm very steadily, and 
to meet things very calmly. We have great trials, and very 
great mercies, as I can testify when I see you. The great 
trials which Christ experienced came through his friends. 
So ours must come. I was treated with very great consid- 
eration and kindness at New York, as I always am when I 
go abroad." 

On the first Sabbath in 1851, only an hour or two before 
the time for public worship, the cry of "fire" was raised; 
and it was found that the old church was all in flames 
M'ithin. An overheated stove-pipe had set the vestibule on 
fire, and the flames had soon reached the organ above, and 
found in its well-dried pipes fine kindling. Of course the 
whole village w^as soon on the spot; but it is believed that, 
amidst much show of zeal, there was no special haste to save 
the old house, which had Ions: been too small and too anti- 



I 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 357 

quated, and the removal of which would make the way easy 
for a better structure. " Come," said one prominent mem- 
ber of the congregation to another, slyly, " let us go and set 
tire to the other end." The flames were extinguished when 
they had progressed far enough to make it probable that 
the building would not be repaired for a church. The 
largest hall in town was immediately hired — a great, but 
low, dingy, ill-ventilated, and disagreeable room, up two 
flights of stairs. And here for two years the preacher held 
together his great congregation with no diminution. 

" February -tth, 1851. 

"You know we have had our church burned, and we are 
all adrift. How things will turn up, in Providence ! Have 
I not got back into a hall ? and am I not now planning to 
.build the fourth church whose corner-stone I have laid since 
I have been in the ministry ? Shall I not be the father of 
churches ere long?" 

"Api-il22d. 

"Doctor Brainard came on from Philadelj^hia, to urge me 
to return to that city, and with such proposals as are very 
flattering. But I see not how I can leave my present post. 
My people have been racked and shaken, and are now dwell- 
ing in booths, and it seems hard to leave them just now. 
At their meeting, at the beginning of this mouth, with en- 
tire unanimity, and self-moved, they added fifty per cent, to 
ray salary. I do not think the call from Philadelphia had 
much to do with it, as they had determined so to do some 
time since. It is a great kindness, and especially so as it is 
a testimony, after nine years' acquaintance with my weak- 
nesses and imperfections. I regret that my health is so poor 
and unpromising for their good." 

To Jlrs. Todd. 

"New Haven, Conn., August Stli. 
"Tl:ie city is wonderfully spread and grown out in every 
direction since the time when you and I were here, and is 
freer from poor, filthy houses than any place of its size that 
I ever saw. What used to be my solitary walks out of the 
city are now covered with houses and shops, new squares 
and mansions. I have enjoyed riding about the city very 
much. I can not understand why it is that I receive so 



358 JOHI^ TODD. 

many kindnesses and so much attention when I go abroad. 
I am sure that I in no way deserve it, and it really makes 
me feel ashamed that I am so overestimated. I keep say- 
ing to myself, ' I wish she were here to enjoy it with me.' I 
don't half enjoy any thing when you are not with me. Be- 
ing here carries me back to the old Herrick house, and to 
the time when I first saw you ; and I have been living it all 
over, forgetting our great family of children, and the years 
that have gone past since those days. The fences are taken 
away from in front of the churches, and the green looks larger 
and much more beautiful. The college looks natural, and I 
pick out the rooms in which I used to study some, and dream 
of the future. Life was then fresh, and the rainbows of hope 
were many and bright. AVell, God has since dealt most 
kindly by me, and I have ten thousand mercies for which to 
be thankful. I don't know but I have done about as much 
as we had reason to expect when we first met, though if I 
could now go back, with my experience, I should hope to do 
much more." 

" Madison, Conn., August 9th, 1851. 

"Nothing surprises me so much as to see how fast the 
shadows of time, as they fall upon our friends, deepen their 
wrinkles and leave their mark upon them. Our friends here 
are well, but, to me, wonderfully altered. On reaching here, 
I learned that John actually passed his examination and en- 
tered college. I was right glad to learn it, for although I 
had no fear as to his preparations, yet there are so many 
slips that few things are certain till they become facts by 
having passed by. I believe that the sooner a young man 
forms a plan and a great purpose in life, the better. He is 
more likely to pursue it steadily. Our real and great anxi- 
eties for John are now to commence." 

An English publisher, designing to publish one of Doctor 
Todd's books, wrote to him for a brief sketch of his life as an 
introduction for it. Doctor Todd noted down some items, 
and gave them to one of his daughters to work up into a 
sketch. The following is his acknowledgment of her work: 

"November 18th. 

"As to the sketch, it is beautifully written; and on read- 
ing it I felt like the man who cried when his lawyer was de- 
scribing his sufterings to the jury, * I didn't know I was so 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 359 

much hurt !' It seemed like an imaginary character, and 
undoubtedly owes more to you than to me. I presume you 
painted as the painter did his angels, when he set porters, 
and w\aiters, and any ill-shapen creature he could get, before 
him, and then * drew as unlike them as he could.' I am very 
thankful that I have a daughter w^ho can ' make up ' such a 
picture, though she may not be able to see the many places 
where she can not discern between truth and fiction, or, 
rather, imagination and reality. 

"I am not surprised that you meet with trials. They are 
everywhere, if we do any thing and are any thing. They 
are what make us. And my anxiety is, not lest my children 
should meet with trials, but lest they should not meet them 
rightly, and improve them wisely. I think you will meet 
.with as few in your present situation as in any place away 
from home. We should be educated to expect and to meet 
with crosses continually. Set the Lord always before your 
eyes, and you will not be moved." 

" January 16tb, 1852. 

"Since I saw you I have been through a terrible scene, 
in having a surgical operation performed on my back. For 
about twenty years I have had a small tumor on my back, 
near the spine, and a little below the shoulders. It has al- 
ways been tender, like an inflamed eye, so that touching it 
put me in agony. For the last twenty years I suppose that 
I have not spent a day without pain, or been able to lie a 
moment on my back. At last it became so painful that it 
was wearing my life out, and I felt that, if I could not get 
relief, I must die. The reason why I did not have the knife 
used years ago w\as, that the physicians were in doubt wheth- 
er or not it was attached to the spine. If it was, cutting it 
out w^ould cost life. On consulting a distinguished surgeon in 
Philadelphia last fall, he gave it as his opinion that it might 
be safely removed. On returning home, I called in a sur- 
geon and a professor in the Medical College, who examined 
it by putting me under ether, so that they could handle it. 
One felt that it would be safe, and the other that it was 
not certain. So the next morning they came, with two men 
to hold me. My fomily, wnfe excepted, never mistrusted 
any thing, though I met them all at the breakfast-table. I 
sat down and took ether, not sure that I should come out 



360 JOHN TODD. 

alive. Even after I was fixed and the knives were out, there 
was hesitation as to the fact of its spinal attachment. It 
took them half an hour to do the cutting; and, though un- 
conscious, I filled the house with groans ; and yet the sur- 
geons, being so intent in their operation, did not hear me ! 
The tumor lay by the side of tlie spine, among the great 
nerves, and under the tendons and ligaments of the back. 
It was an inch below the surface, and was of about the size 
of a turkey's egg. They had to pull it out with hooks. But, 
oh, the agony, and the fainting, and the distress, for the next 
twelve hours after I came out of the ether ! I was laid up 
several weeks, very weak ; but it healed kindly, and is now 
entirely loell. It is an unspeakable mercy ; and I tell you of 
it, that you may see that we all have our trials, and the Lord 
knows how to deliver us from them." 

"February 11th. 

"Mr. A thinks of coming back and building a splen- 
did house on the old spot of ground, and living here. I 
sometimes feel almost thankful that I have no spot of child- 
hood to which I long to return." 

"July 21st. 

" We sympathize with Mr. B in the death of his little 

son. We have one in heaven who left us at just about the same 
age. He is an infant still : he alters not. We know that his 
little grave is no longer, and so we can not conceive that he 
is advancing. The blotting-out of one such little bright star 
makes the world seem very dark to us for a long time; but it 
shines brighter in the new sphere to which it is removed." 

"August 2d. 

" I am reading Chalmers's Life with great interest, and, I 
hope, profit. It gives me new views of the way in which 
God leads the blind, and new views of that charity which 
w^e must entertain concerning those who were not brought 
up just as we were." 

" October 30th, 

*' I am expecting to send Mr. to Lee in my place. If 

he suits them, I shall marvel ; and if he does not, he will won- 
der, for he is blessed with a deep conviction of the value of 
his own powers. I hope that Lee will shortly get a minis- 
ter; for it is hard to be an island for them, and stand against 
the waves that roll toward them." 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 361 

To John^ in College. 

" March 8th, 1853. 

" Ouly four weeks more to vacation — how soon here ! Let 
US see, you speak to-morrow I Well, put it through, and re- 
member that the more voice that you have, the less sense 
you need." 

Doctor Todd was once present at a meeting where a 
speech was made by a minister who had a magnificent voice. 
As he was passing down the aisle, after the service, he over- 
heard a humble minister lamenting that he could not make 
such a speech. He immediately touched him on the shoul- 
der, and wliispered, " Brother, you must remember that to 
some of us the Lord has given a great voice, and to some of 
us he has given — brains.''^ 

"April 2oth. 

"My people have now nearly completed a new church 
edifice, larger far than my church in Philadelphia, built of 
stone, and which in your city would cost at least seventy 
thousand dollars. It will be done in a few weeks, we trust, 
all paid for, and all given, so that the annual rent of the 
slips will support the concern. There is no stock, no owner- 
ship of pews, and 7io debt. For nearly two and a half years 
we have been building the stone church, and we have all 
that time been like a swarm of bees out of hive and shelter, 
hanging on the limb of a tree. We hope that it will be a 
permanent, large. Pilgrim Rock church, for generations to 
come." 

The church was duly dedicated on the oth of July. 

"Children of this congregation, this house is built chiefly 
for you. Had we not children whom we loved, and whose 
eternal welfare lay near our hearts, we should not have built 
this edifice. We shall soon pass away, and not need it. But 
you, we hope, will remain — will worship, and praise, and 
honor, and love God here when we are dead. Xever for- 
get that as we dedicated this house to the great God, we 
charged you to fill this house, to keep it, and to honor God 
in it, by believing his word, obeying his commands, and re- 
ceiving Jesus Christ as your Saviour — the Way, the Door, 
and the Life." 

24 



362 JOHN TODD. 



CHAPTER XXYI. 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD — COntiniied. 

An Indian's Letter.— An Indian's Reply. —The Water-cure. — Fitted to 
adorn.— Doctoring a Father-in-law. — An Invitation. — The old Eagle. — 
Oaken Literature. — Gushing Waters. — Death of a Mother. — Slaughtering- 
Weapons. — An open Mouth. — A Resignation. — A new Member of the Fam- 
ih'.— Gabriel's Complaint.— Trip to the West.— Snows.— Spiritual Long- 
ings. — Surgeons. — A Blow. — Must not Preach. — To Europe. — Not a sound 
Man. — Two Enemies. — The Barber's Shop. — The Dutch Minister. — Rem- 
iniscences. — Description of Pittsfield. — A Flower-garden. — The Busy Bee. 
— What an Argument ! — The Taper and the Sun. 

Bev. 3I?\ , to Bev. Br. Todd. 

"May, 1853. 
'•'• Manahozzho^ Chief of the Six N'ations, to his Brother^ 

3IaskiDashakwong^ Chief Sachem of the Massachusetts 

Tribes: 

"I HAVE thought much about my brother, as the time is 
drawing near when our chiefs contemplate talcing their belts 
of wampum, their knives, and their rifles, in order once more 
to enter upon the war-path ; and I felt sad to think that I 
could obtain no blanket such as I knew that my brother 
would like to have, though I scoured our whole territory in 
order to obtain such a one. Finally, I succeeded in learn- 
ing that such an article might be obtained of one of the 
traders on the island of Manhattan ; and immediately there- 
upon I dispatched one of my young warriors thither, with 
directions to secure it, even though he should lose his scalp- 
lock in the attempt. He has returned with the accompanying 
package, which I entreat my brother to accept. My brother 
must first commit it to the care of his renowned squaw, in 
order that it may be thorouglily soaked in water, either cold 
or hot, in consequence of which it will become almost im- 
penetrable to the rifle-bullet itself. Then, Vvhen it is dry, 
summon before you your blanket-maker, and command him 
to make for you what the pale-faces call 'a pair of panta- 
loons and a tight-fitting coat.' My brother will find suffi- 
cient for both. My brother, if he desires an increase of 
warmth and smoothness, can have his pantaloons lined ; but 






LIFU AT PITTS FIELD. 363 

Manabozzho wears them without lining. My brother must 
likewise command his blanket-maker to make ten or twelve 
little pockets in front, and on the outside of the coat, so that 
he may have every thing convenient, and not mixed up all 
together in one great pouch, as old Cavonicus used to have 
his bullets, and flints, and powder, and tobacco, and tinder- 
box (which he got from a pale-face), all mixed up together; 
and many is the deer and moose that escaped while he was 
getting what he Avanted. My brother will do much better 
than that. Farewell." 

THE EEPLT. 

"7b the great Mcmahozzho, Head Warrior of the TJiirty-six 
Nations : 

"Great Beother, — Thou hast spoken. Thy w^ords have 
reached my ears, those deep words that come like the voice 
of the far-off loon of the wilderness, mysterious and solemn 
in the depths of night. Thou hast traveled into the far spirit- 
land, and brought back awful and strange words thence con- 
cerning the great one-in-three Spirit. Such words are com- 
forting and strengthening to the spirit-warriors around thee, 
and they make me feel as if on the top of some Katahdin, 
whence I can look over the thick woods and lakes, and see a 
beautiful land which lies over and beyond the farthest mount- 
ain I can see. . Thou art great with hook and line, and takest 
up none but such as are big and bright. Thou art great in 
thy hunting, and bringest none but large moose to thy hunt- 
ing-ground. For the thoughts, more than for the characters 
on the white-birch-bark-like leaves, I thank thee. May thy 
rifle never miss fire ! 

"To-day, while in my wigwam, the swift runner brought 
to my hand the new war-blanket, and also thy greetings ; 
and my squaw and papooses will bear me witness that over 
both my spirit was glad. Great brother, I know not what 
there may be in all the world, among all the 23ale-faces, but 
to me it seemeth that no blanket could be better, though 
woven by the hand of that famous squaw, Penelope ; and 
should I ever be wrapped in it in the far-ofi" woods, where 
the owl hooteth, and the frog belloweth, and where the cry 
of the panther is heard, it seemeth to me that I shall feel as 
strong as fire-water, courageous as the yellow wolf, and fierce 



364 JOHN TODD. 

as an old hunter of my family who lived many moons ago, 
and whose name was Nimrod. It seemeth to me that the 
brave who owns such a blanket may shake his finger at that 
old, fierce tribe of warriors called Mosquitoes ; ay, and their 
cousins, the Gnats ; ay, and their allies, the Midges. As soon 
as thy words reached my ears, I put it into the hands' of my 
jewel-eyed squaw, and slie hath it already in water. And 
thy words about the pouches shall be heeded. And when 
thou seest the blanket all ready, thou wilt mourn that thou 
hast no such squaw to adorn the Big Chief and send him 
forth to meet the dangers of the wilderness. Or if the Big 
Chief hath found a white doe, and brought her to his wig- 
w^am, it may be she will be dull to see how the heavens and 
the earth, the woods and the lakes, the rivers and the brooks, 
all lift up their hands and beckon thy coming, and utter the 
voice, and cry, 'Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and 
gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the sing- 
ing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in 
our land. Rise up, and come away !' I know not, mighty 
chieftain, that my hand can ever repay thee, and send some- 
thing to gladden thine eye ; but I will lay up the blanket in 
the corner of my memory, and charge my heart to be grate- 
ful, and my hand never to forget to return what it can. Till 
then my thanks must be loud, and my tongue straight. 

" Great brother, I am sorry to hear that thou thinkest of 
removing thy wigwam southward, and leaving the hills and 
the mountains and rivers of the J^orth. Think thee well. 
Wilt thou see fairer skies, mountains more blue, rivers more 
clear, brooks that laugh louder, braves that are truer to thee, 
tribes more glad to listen to thy voice? Will the summer 
cloud there be more silvery, or the spirit of the storm-cloud 
more grand ? Think thee well. It grieveth me to have thee 
turn away thy face and go to sunnier climes. At any rate, 
don't let the voice of men, or even of bright-eyed squaws, 
take thee from thy yearly visit to the wilds, where Health 
sleeps on the rock, where Vigor is drawn up from the ground, 
where Hope comes in the wild dress of Nature, and Courage 
is drunk up from every brook. May the spirit of life and 
of hope ever go and be with thee. 

"From my wigwam, the tenth day of the fifth moon. 

" Maskwashakwong." 



LIFE AT PITTS FIELD. 365 

During the first part of the year 1854, Doctor Todd's 
health became seriously affected by his long-continued and 
exhausting labors — so much so, that in his summer vacation 
he was driven from his usual resorts in the forests by very 
alarming symptoms, and compelled to take refuge for a short 
time in a water-cure establishment. Here he found tempo- 
rary relief, and began to hope that he would soon be re- 
stored to his accustomed strength. 

"Saratoga, July 26th, 1854. 

" Tell mother that I met a lady last evening who gravely 
told me that she had repeatedly heard it said, ' What a pity 
it was that such a splendid woman as Mrs. Todd should be 
obliged to bury herself all her life in the cares and toils of a 
poor minister's family, when she was fitted to adorn some 
brilliant station !' Oh dear, do ask your mother what I can 
do about it. 

"Best love to all, from the woman 'fitted to adorn' down 
to James, the first boy in Berkshire. Tell them that yester- 
day and to-day I really begin to feel like myself again, and 
shall now, probably, grow handsome every hour." 

To Rev. Joab Brace. 

"August 16th. 

"My dear Father, — Should it afibrd you any gratifica- 
tion to know that a college, standing high and very sparing 
of its honors, has conferred on you the title of D.D., and if 
this has been brought about by any little agency and in- 
fluence of myself — if, at a time when the shadows of earth 
seem less and less to you, the good opinion of men comes to 
you in a form new and unexpected — you may feel assured 
that your friends who know you best will feel that you de- 
serve all that you receive, and that, for myself, the gift of 
your child to me, at a time when I had neither character 
nor influence, has laid me under obligations which I can 
never express. That your life may be prolonged, and your 
last days made bright by the beams of the Sun of righteous- 
ness, is the prayer of your afl*ectionate son." 

At about this time, an old friend wrote to him, sounding 
him as to his willingness to listen to an invitation from an 
important city church. The following was his reply : 

"September 6th. 

"My very dear Friend, — I give you many, many sincere 



366 JOHN TODD. 

thanks for your kind letter, for your partiality to me, and 
for all your acts of friendship. As to your letter, and the 
inquiries made therein, let me see, what shall I say ? 

"An old eagle sat in his eyrie, where he had been gather- 
ing sticks and building his nest and raising his young for 
many years. He looked off over the lake, on the bank of 
which his eyrie stood, and it was fair and beautiful. The 
trees around him were green and lofty, and their bows waved 
and their leaves rustled whenever he alighted on them. 
The lake afforded him fresh fish; and the blue herons and 
the fish-hawks, the gulls and the loons, all kept at a distance, 
and let the old eagle alone. His family was large, and he 
tried to feed them, and train them so that they might look 
the sun full in the face and fly toward him. At length they 
came to the old eagle, and asked him to remove his eyrie to 
another lake, w^here the waters were wider and deeper, and 
the fish more abundant — where there were more herons and 
fish-haw4s:s, gulls and loons, to fight away from eating up the 
fish. They told him that his eyrie would be higher, and he 
could see and fly farther. But he said that his lake was al- 
ready as large as his eye could see over, and there were 
more fish than he could take, and his family was too large to 
move, sticks and all, and he feared that the very friends who 
urged him to go would be disappointed in the result. Then 
he looked toward the lake, and saw it not beginning to dry 
up, and at his tree on which his eyrie stood, and it seemed 
to be firm and strong, and gave no signs of decay ; and then 
he looked up toward the deep-blue sky, to see if the angel 
who takes care of eagles was in sight, and beckoning him to 
leave ; and not seeing him anywhere, he said to himself, 
'Perhaps I could do more and better to go, and the eyrie 
would be higher, and the fish more abundant ; but I remem- 
ber that when the good angel guided me here, and placed 
me on this high tree, he said, " Stay there, birdie, till I call 
for thee ; and if I think of a place better for thee, I will come 
back and make some sign ;" but he doesn't come and make 
the sign yet.' 

"What say you to the eagle? Is he not a wiser and safer 
bird than you had supposed?" 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 36V 

To X. T . 

" September 5tli. 
" I am glad to learn that the Ministers' Association in 
New York think of repnblishing some of the genuine old 
Scotch theologians, particularly the writings of John Logan 
and Robert Walker. These are wells of pure and cooling 
waters, refreshing and pui'ifying to those who draw faith- 
fully from them. And a pleasant thought it is, surely, that 
as fashions and tastes change, they wheel in a circle ; and 
that the same unsatisfied desires which are setting aside the 
light, frail, and fragile chairs and tables of our day, and are 
calling back the strong oaken furniture of past generations, 
begin also to turn from the light, small-idea books of the 
present day, and call for the solid, oaken thoughts of other 
days. I hope the willow age is going by, and a more solid 
one returning. Every such valuable old writer that can be 
made to live again should be ; and thus, in the cycle of ages, 
may it not be that great and good men who are dead will 
often be reproduced, and still prophesy before many people? 
My best wishes for your success." 

To J. C. H . 

" September 5th. 
"Your very kind note proves to me several things, such 
as that you and I both belong to the Mutual Admiration 
Society, that our partialities and admirations meet about 
half-way between us, that I have the high satisfaction of 
having gained a friend whom I prize most highly, and that 
in the art of letter-writing and beauty of composition I must 
be content to fall immeasurably behind you. As to the cir- 
cumstance to which you allude. . . . And yet I should not 
have wondered if the devil (you know I am orthodox, and 
believe most firmly in the existence and character of this 
ancient and mischievous fellow) had whispered in your left 
ear that if the Pittsfield folks had heeded you some years 
since, their sufferings had been far less, and their enjoyments 
far greater, and that you had almost brought waters to their 
doors and lips, and they would not have them. However, 
when the day comes when waters shall be gushing into ev- 
ery dwelling and room of our village, and when the old man 
and the infant are refreshed and strengthened thereby, it 
will be found that you and Mr. M set the first wheel 



368 JOHX TODD. 

in motion, and really opened the first gate, to let them flow 
in. Thus, my dear sir, seed that we sow comes up in after- 
years; and thus great blessings may be traced back to small 
sources and remote causes. The bread cast on the waters 
is found after many days. Keep adoing, and in due time 
we shall reap. How I wish I were as young and healthy as 
yourself. Well, God gives us our portion in his own way 
and manner. You are among the very few who need to be 
cautioned not to be too generous, too great-hearted ; and a 
queer thing it is in this world to ask a friend to cultivate 
selfislmess. That isn't exactly what I mean ; perhaps I mean 
self-love. My best bow and respects to the wife, whom I 
want to know ; also to my friend, glorious B ." 

In November of this year, Mrs. Todd was suddenly sum- 
moned to Newington to the bedside of her mother, who 
died after a very short sickness. Doctor Todd went down 
to preach the funeral sermon, and to mourn as a son. Mrs. 
Brace had been the only mother that he had ever known, 
and, from his first acquaintance with her, she had been a true 
mother to him. "The home there is gone. Nothing can 
ever make a house cheerful when the mother is gone. It is 
she that makes home." 

" November 23d. 

"The medical commencement was yesterday, and twenty 
were sent forth, like the angels in Ezekiel, w^ith their slaugh- 
tering weapons in their hands." 

" November 28th. 

"I am going to Groton next Monday, and to Albany, to 
attend the Missionary Convention, on Wednesday ; I'm apos- 
tolic only in this respect, that my mouth is always open." 

On the 16th of Januarj^, 1855, Rev. Doctor Brace completed 
a half century of ministerial labor, and, without resigning 
his pastoral ofiice, retired from active service. 

" January nth, 1855. 

"My dear Father, — You are going through it bravely 
and admirably, and were never gaining honors to yourself 
and to your memory as fast as now. I don't believe that 
five years of common labor would make an impression on 
your people that would be as lasting, and of as much value, 
as these few weeks will do. I never saw a sight in my life 
that delicchted me more than that of the feeling^s and the do- 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 369 

ings of your people, and I trust you will be carried through 
it all, even to the last; and the)i you must expect, and we 
must all expect, that you will feel a reaction, and pay a ter- 
rible interest for all this excitement. I can not praise you 
enough for the quiet, gentle dignity which you are mani- 
festing before us all, and which will be felt a hundred years 
hence. I think that the next Sabbath will be as trying as 
any day, but, like David, you know how to 'encourage' 
yourself (1 Sam., xxx., 6). I hope to see you in a few days. 
It will never seem like home to any of us again. 'We have 
here no abiding city ; we seek one to come.' You know our 
doors and hearts are open to you, if you say so." 

The invitation contained in the last sentence of this let- 
ter was accepted, and after the close of his active ministry, 
.Doctor Brace went to Doctor Todd's house to pass the re- 
mainder of his days. At his coming. Doctor Todd said that 
he felt, "like the centurion, unworthy to have him come un- 
der his roof;" and, during the six years of his stay, waited 
upon him with the same reverential, child -like spirit, and 
treated the infirmities of age with an unruffled temper. 

Xot long after his arrival, Doctor Brace said one day, on 
hearing of a young book-keeper's salary, "Why, that is 
more than I ever received in my life !" " Yes," replied Doc- 
tor Todd, " but money is not your reward. Suppose Gabriel 
should say, ' I haven't any money. I don't receive any in- 
come ; I'm poor.' ' Why, Gabriel, you are the strong angel ; 
you stand in the presence of the Most High.' ' Oh yes ; but 
there's John Jacob Astor with ever so many millions, and I 
never had a thousand dollars in my life.'" 

In the latter part of this winter. Doctor Todd, accompa- 
nied by his wife, made an extensive lecturing tour through 
the West, and was everywhere received with great atten- 
tion. It was the only visit that he ever made to the Far 
West, and at this time he saw but little of the country, for 
it was buried under snows of unusual depth. For twenty- 
one successive days snow fell more or less every day; roads 
were blocked, locomotives disabled, and trains blockaded. 
At one place he barely escaped with his life. The sleigh in 
which he was crossing a river broke through the ice, and 
was with difficulty drawn out of the water. 



370 JOHN TODD. 

To B. B. C— 



"March 2d. 

"I wish I could tell you of my journey, how they got me 
into the Maumee River, and I barely escaped with my life ; 
how I visited the cities of the West, and spoke to twenty- 
two different audiences in twenty-six days that I was gone ; 
how I saw young men whom I had known in Philadelphia, 
and in New England, and everywhere else; how I was 
treated with a kindness and respect utterly beyond my de- 
serts ; how I had a terrible cold all the time, and went away 
sick and dizzy in the head, and have returned better and 
more hopeful. 

" You ask me what my plans are. I have none, but to 
work every day as the day returns. I have a heavy burden 
on my mind and heart, in my large family, and large people, 
and many calls of duty and of labor. Last autumn I had a 
most kind invitation to go elsewhere; but the old eagle 
kept in his eyrie, and moved not. I know there is many a 
spot far up the hill of Zion, where the airs are pure, the sun 
is bright, and the vision is clear, and I sometimes have the 
flint hope tliat I am going up the hill, and pausing at these 
places; but I wish that I could hear the whisper of angels, 
and feel the breathings of the blessed, and hear the rustling 
of the wings of the Holy Dove, plainer than I do. I know 
there are cool walks, and smooth paths, and murmuring 
brooks, and sweet flowers in the valley of Sharon, and I 
know that One walks there who is altogether lovely, and I 
sometimes feel that I should love to walk down deep in that 
valley; but I wish that I could feel more plainly the cool 
of those shades, and perceive more clearly the spices which 
the south winds waft there from the garden of the Lord. I 
thank God I have passed over the hill of Ambition, and am 
no more afraid lest my feet slide in its sandy sides. The 
trees of earth are not so tall as they once were, nor their 
fruit so fair; but God has given me unnumbered mercies, 
for which I try to praise him. Not among the least of my 
joys and mercies is the fact that now and then he gives me 
such a friend as the one who is now reading the tracings 

of my pen. God bless you, dear C , now and forever! 

Let me live in your prayers, as I do in your memory. 
Should you outlive me, let my children share in the love 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 371 

of their father's friend. Our united love and deep remem- 
brance to all of the dear circle who gather around you. 
Tell them that my head is turning gray, and time is setting 
me onward ; but my heart is no colder to them than when I 
left your city. Thanks, many thanks, and, once more, adieu." 
Soon after his return from the West, he was obliged, by 
increasing infirmities, to put himself more than once in the 
hands of the surgeons, and to endure sufferings which com- 
pletely prostrated him. 

To B. B. C . 

" June 1st. 

" You know you have always insisted that I should keep 
you advised of the dealings of Providence with me, whether 
in the sunshine or under the clouds. For more than eight 
weeks I have been shut up under very great sufferings. I 
am very weak, and greatly in want of courage, strength, and 
hope. My physicians now say I must stop preaching for 
four mouths more, and spend all that time in recovering my 
health. You can hardly imagine what a blow this is to me. 
My family is very large, my oldest daughter a confirmed in- 
valid, Mrs. Todd much worn down, her father living with 
us. Add to this, John is just about to graduate, and he 
wants to go to the Theological Seminary at Andover, and it 
is not in my power to send him ; for I find, after having 
been licensed to preach the Gospel thirty years next week, 
that I am so poor that I must borrow to defray my expenses 
this summer. Where to go, or what to do, or how to do, I 
know not. For the present, I expect to hang on and off 
Saratoga, till I see what I can, or can not, do. You will 
say, 'Why, four months, how soon over I' True, but is it 
certain that I shall be well then ? Is it certain that God 
will let me live and Avork longer? I am sure I have done 
so little, and that so poorly, and with such poor motives, 
that he will not do as man would do, if he does. Let me 
find a place in your prayers, as well as in your love and 
sympathy. 

"My physicians have decided that for six months I can 
not preach ; and my friends are trying to raise a purse to 
send me out of the country. How sad ray heart is, to have 
to drop all and leave preaching, none can know ; and how 
earnestly I pray that I may yet live, and recover, and do 



372 JOHN TODD. 

some little good, you can imagine. I am walking in the 
dark." 

His people found no difficulty in raising among them- 
selves a sum of money sufficient to enable their pastor to 
travel for six months, and to this some of his old friends in 
Philadelphia sent a generous addition. The latter called 
forth the following acknowledgment : 

To B. B, C . 

" June 14th. 

" My yeey deae Feiend, — What should we do if we had 
not friends ! and, above all, that great Friend whose kind- 
ness never wearies, whose compassion never fails ! I feel 
humbled when I see myself falling upon the generosity of 
my friends, because I feel that Fhave not deserved this at 
their hands ; and most earnestly do I pray that I may not 
receive all my good things in this life. I beg you to express 
my sincerest gratitude to yourself and my other friends who 
have so kindly and nobly remembered me. Is it not mar- 
velous, that after thirteen years' absence I should thus live 
in the hearts of my once-beloved flock? Oh, this fact is 
greater to me than all the money in the world ! I know it 
is asking too much for you to come and see me, and I dare 
not expect it ; but be assured there is hardly a face this 
side of heaYen that I would be so glad to see. If I may see 
you, glad, glad ; if not, may I ask you to remember me when 
you stand nearest to the throne, and when most under the 
shadow of the wing of the Almighty Redeemer?" 

It was near the close of the year when Doctor Todd re- 
turned from Europe, very much invigorated. 

To B, B. C . 

" January 7th, 1856. 
" I am not a sound man, but probably am as well as I 
may ever expect to be in this world. I am hard at work in 
my great parish. You don't know how much pleasure I an- 
ticipate in seeing you. What vnll the meeting of friends 
be in heaven ! Did I tell you that Sarah is about making a 
profession of religion ? Ah, if our children may be jewels in 
the crown of Christ, what can we want for them more ?" 

To B. B. C . 

"April nth. 
"Do you know two bitter enemies of mine, who follow 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. ' 3V3 

me, and haunt me, and almost ruin all my peace? The 
wretches ! I can hardly contain myself when I think of the 
mischief they have done me ! Their names are Procrastina- 
tion and Indolence ; and they look so much alike that I 
hardly know which is which. Alas ! were it not that these 
fellows had got hold of me, and borne me down like the 
nightmare (they are a kind of c7«?/-mare !), I should long 
since have written you. 

"As to the book of travels, I confess my fear that I could 
make nothing that would go any length of time or way. But 
one thing I have achieved ! Congratulate me ! I have act- 
ually delivered one lecture on Europe in Pittsfield — by giv- 
ing the avails to the library here. It has but just been done. 
So you see how a prophet is appreciated at home. I don't 
suppose that Alexander himself was considered any thing- 
very great at home — or would have been, had he been noth- 
ing but a country pastor. Then, as to the volume of ser- 
mons; I have been reading the volume of Mr. Barnes's, 
which you sent me, and magnificent sermons they are, and 
I say to myself, 'You foolish fellow, if such sermons as those 
are not appreciated, and will not sell or be read, what can 
you do?' And the foolish fellow replies, 'Verily, there is 
weight in the saying, and I will not be too hasty.' I wish 
you would tell me how to convert sinners, how to rouse up 
saints, how to do the work of a messenger of life. How I 
think over the pleasant hours I spent in your family and in 
your city, during my last visit ! It was truly a green spot 
in life's pilgrimage. Our snow-banks are failing, though 
they freely discount still. March lays his head in the lap 
of April, and teaches that sister to blow as if it were fun." 

To Lady V . 

"April 25th. 
"Last autumn, as I was in a barber's shop at Marseilles, 
there came in a young man, an entire stranger, but whose 
voice led me to speak to him as an American. I found he 
w^as from Baltimore, of very respectable parentage, not very 
well, and cast afloat, like a solitary flower, on the great 
ocean, without a father's experience and advice to guide 
him, or a mother's love to cover his head with her prayers. 
He Avas an orphan in a strange land, seeking health, with 
no one to aid him to find paths that are right, or to shun 



374 JOHN TODD. 

those that are wrong. I invited him to go with ^me to Par- 
is, which he did, roomed next to me, kept with me, and went 
with me to the sight-seeings of Paris. With the assistance 
of a pious friend, I got him into a good Christian French 
family for the winter, and felt relief He then went with 
me to London, Oxford, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwick, Kenil- 
worth, etc. I introduced him to a kind Quaker hotel in 
London, and to a true theological student in that city. He 
kept with me till I took the steamer for home, when he re- 
turned to Paris, according to our arrangement. Since then, 
a friend has written me that he has been sick at Paris. This 
information I immediately communicated to his fiiends. 
This is the last that I have heard of poor S , till the let- 
ter of your husband came, a few, days since, informing me 
that he is sick at Torquay, and that his sickness is alarming. 
I lost no time in communicating w^ith his friends, beseeching 
them to go to him or to send for him, but have as yet re- 
ceived no reply. Your ladyship will see that my interest in 
the young man is only that of an almost entire stranger; 
and yet it is so deep that, had I the means, I should cross 
the ocean to see him without hesitation. I shall write him 
by this mail, and any kindness which your good heart may 
prompt you to do for him will receive its reward from Him 
who thinks of the stranger and the fatherless." 

To Bev. J. De L , Amsterdam^ Holland. 

"June 7th. 
" I am afraid you will think me almost a bear, in selfish 
forgetfulness of you and of your kind letter. But our bears 
sometimes hug people when they get hold of them, and, 
could I get hold of you, I should do little less. You may be 
sure that so long as I live I shall never forget you or the 
Sabbath I spent at your house. Doesn't it all rise up be- 
fore me now, so that I still see the wide Zuyder-Zee, that 
sweeps down and fairly kisses the old city, and the hundreds 
of windmills all around throwing out their arms and strik- 
ing the air with all their might? and don't I see the old 
canals running in all directions, with their boats and their 
bridges, their clean little Dutch vessels and water-tanks, and 
the tall houses and narrow streets? and don't I see the 
Blum-market, where the flowers are so abundant and so gor- 



\ 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 375 

geous? and don't I see ISTo. 16, where I meet you in the front 

room so curiously papered; and good Mrs. De^L , who 

o'ives me all the EnoHsh she is mistress of in biddino- me 
welcome; and the little boy, who looks at me and asks if I 
am a ' believer-man ?' and don't I see the chapel full of peo- 
ple with their hats on, and see you in the pulpit, and hear 
your sweet voice, and sit and cry like a very baby because 
I can't understand a word you say or sing? and don't I see 
my upper chamber, next to your charming study, where I 
hear your voice singing in beautiful Dutch, while in mj 
room, under the thick folding curtains of my bed, where the 
paper of the room hangs so smooth, but never touches the 
walls; and your schools of sewers, and the little creatures 
so happy and multitudinous in the infant- school -room? 
Ah, don't I see it all yet, and think of my visit with you as 
one of the bright spots of my life ? I have not looked at 
my journal since I was there ; but here it is, as fresh as if it 
were but yesterday. The stranger from the far-off land 
w^hom you received so kindly will never forget you or your 
dear family." 

"Well (as we Americans say), after leaving you, I wan- 
dered up the Rhine to Frankfort-on-the-Main, thence through 
Hanover to Hamburg, to Denmark, then back through Prus- 
sia, Austria, Bohemia, Styria, Tyrol, Bavaria, Switzerland to 
Geneva, Chamounix to Milan, Venice, Florence, Leghorn, 
Rome, Xaples, France, England, and then across the great 
floods to my home, having traveled over twelve thousand 
miles. The wandering bird found the nest all safe, and the 
birdlings in it. The hawk had not plundered it, and the ser- 
pent had not invaded it. And now how^ strange my home 
would seem to you, could you be put down at once b}^ me ! 
Do you see? We are in a little valley which the Indians 
used to call the Housatonic (the river of the hills) ; we are 
surrounded by high, wood- covered, green -mantled mount- 
ains; and our rivers and brooks do not lie still as yours do, 
but they run and leap, and murmur and roar. We are not 
diking out the sea, as you are, for we are at least twelve 
hundred English feet above it. You would see our Avide 
streets shaded with our own sugar- maples and lofty elms, 
and our white houses surrounded with shrubbery and roses, 
with our stores and shops of brick ; while in the centre is 



376 JOHN TODD. 

the house of the Lord, around which all the village clusters, 
like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus. If you will go with 
me on the Sabbath morning, we will go to a great stone 
church, where I met my beloved flock on my return, and 
where they would gladly meet you ; for I have told them 
all about you, and what you are doing. And now you have 
preached to my people, and they seem cold to you; but 
never mind, we are like your own Dutch stoves — slow to 
heat up, but we retain our heat finely after we get warm. 
Stop now, if you please ; don't look at my high church, with 
its simple arches and pillars; I want you to look at my 
flower-garden — yes, my flower-garden: there it is — my 
Sabbath-school ; all those teachers and bright scholars : how 
they look at you, and their eyes .flash a welcome upon you, 
and they want to extend their little hands to you! They 
are our own children, our jewels, heart-blossoms, whom we 

are training up for Jesus Christ. O Brother De L , you 

can't speak to them ; you are not here, we do not see you, we 
do not hear your voice ; but we believe you are in Holland, 
and are at work for our Redeemer, and we love you for your 
work's sake ; and these dear children have commissioned 
me to salute you in their name, and beg you to accept the 
inclosed, to aid you in carrying on your schools for little 
children. If their gift shall make any of your little ones as 
happy as it makes us in sending it, it will be thrice blessed. 
The good Lord accept it, and you, and us ! 

"Since writing the above, the 'Busy Bee,' a society of 
little girls, though they are every day growing up toward 
great girls, have handed me thirty dollars more. This so- 
ciety, if they were turned into algebra, might be called co- 
eflicients — the most active bees that ever gathered honey. 
Now, don't you believe that we have jewels here? though 
we do go all the way from New York to buy diamonds of 
your Jews in Amsterdam ! Why, we would not give one of 
these jewels for a hatful of your diamonds ! I wish I could 
send you a daguerreotype of all of them ; but the great 
Master has their images and names in his keeping." 

To B. B. C . 

" September 22d. 
"You complain of a certain cold heart you wot of. Alas ! 
if you begin on that theme, and each of us begins to tell all 



I 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 371 

he knows and feels, and doesjiH feel, on that subject, we shall 
want quires of j)aper, instead of sheets. How infinite Holi- 
ness can desire such hearts in heaven, or even receive thera, 
is one of the deep mysteries of God's love. Did you ever 
think what an argument David uses: 'Pardon mine iniquity, 

Lord,/b7' it is great P What *an argument! 'for it is 
great,' and therefore none but God could or would pardon 
it. It is a work worthy of God. Alas ! alas ! I have a 
larger body of sin and death to carry round, and all the evi- 
dence I can sometimes get that my hope is not utterly 
worthless is, that I think that if I am lost and thrown away, 

1 shall see it to be so just that the mouth will be stopped 
and every murmur hushed. I am trying to commit my fam- 
ily all to God's wisdom, and leave all the future of this life 
in his hands — to labor as long as he permits, and, I hope, 
cheerfully to retire when he says, ' Stop.' As to yoicr heart 
and your state, do something for Christ every day, and you 
will grow warm. He can lift the universe, but will reward 
us for lifting a straw. He has but to say, 'I am he!' and his 
enemies go backward and fall on the ground ; and yet he 
will reward us for saying that Christ is he, the Saviour, 
though nobody cares what we say. He is the Sun, and yet 
wants us to light our tapers, and show men the way to the 
Sun. They look so low, they may see the taper, when they 
won't look up to see the Sun." 

25 



I 



378 JOHN TODD. 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD — COntinUecl. 

The Burden of Souls.— A Wedding.— A Todd Trade.— A Storm.— Solitary.— 
"My Father's House."— Not Unhappy.— A cold People.— The old Wheel- 
horse.— "We stand on Character."— The sick Daughter. — A Son in the 
Pulpit. — Diphtheria. — The World Mad.— Death of Doctor Humphrey. — 
Death of Doctor Brace. — The old Father. — Stopped in the Pulpit.— A 
queer Infirmity.— The War. — "Ye are Idle."— "Te/tf^resse maternelley — A 
River of Providence. — A lean Ministry. — Economy. — Horseback. — A Let- 
ter from the West. —An Accident. — Clinging to Life. — Going. — Mary 
Slept. — A Vacancy. — Polished Diamonds. — The Garden of Hope. 

To B. B. C . 

" January 20th, 1857. 
"For the last five or six weeks there has been a very un- 
usual and deep solemnity on the minds of my people. All 
our meetings are full, and solemn as the grave, and the 
work has thus far been deepening. I l)ave preached twice 
or thrice between the Sabbaths, and held prayer-meetings. 
I have labored as much, to say the least, with the church as 
with the unconverted. I have felt that to have conversions, 
and have the converts come in and set out in the Christian 
life on the low platform on which we were, would be no gain 
and no strength, and that we might thus pass through a re- 
vival of religion, and come out actually weaker than when 
we began. Hence I have been trying to get my church up 
on a higher platform of piety than we were on, and thus 
'the living epistle' would be of some value in the future. 
I hope and believe that I shall not be entirely disappointed. 
As to converts, eleven united with my church at the last 
communion, and about fifty more are indulging hopes. But 
oh dear ! how many labors and anxieties and prayers it costs 
to get one sinner to Jesus Christ ! My body has sunk, and 
my mind become jaded, and my heart fainted under the bur- 
dens. Oh, Aarons and Hurs, where are ye, that I may lean 
on you ? I don't think I have for many years felt the bur- 
den of souls lie on my heart as of late. Whether the Great 
Master does it to let me see how much I have to account 



I 



LIFE AT riTTSFIELD. 379 

for, or how impotent I am to save a soul, or how much he 
means to do for. my flock, I know not. I liave sometimes 
felt that my work is almost over, and that he is permitting 
me to see a few more sheaves gathered in before I lay down 

my commission. Oh, C , life looks barren and lost, in 

looking back on a ministry of thirty years. God give you a 
richer field to look back upon !" 

To B. B. C . 

"March 4th. 

" Can you possibly be with us at Martha's marriage next 
Wednesday? If any thing could gladden me at the sad 
hour of feeling that my child has gone from me for life, it 
Avould be to have you with us. Her home is to be Xashua, 
New Hampshire, where Mr. Hill is settled over a large 
church. 

"We have a delightful revival among my people; the 
church has come up wonderfully ; meetings are almost daily, 
full, solemn, and pleasant. There have been, I trust, many 
conversions ; and among them I count our dear Lucy, thus 
making five out of our seven whom we hope to see as jewels 
in the crown of Christ. I have had no help, and my work- 
ing hours have been constant, and my anxieties far more 
heavy than I can describe. Such seasons make heavy drafts 
upon the heart of the pastor. 

" I know how busy and how driven you are ; but I want 
often to hear from you, and to know that the rainbow arches 
over your home, and the morning angel sings at your gates. 
My head whitens with age and care, and probably the wings 
of my mind droop, and the visions- of earth every day grow 
more and more dim; but Hope still sings of a better future, 
and the eye looks over the river for green sights." 

To Liicy^ at School in Groton. 

" April lOth. 
"Your letter about your journey was just right, and such 
as did us all good — very minute and graphic. The art, or 
one art, of letter- writing is, to say little things naturally, 
and, therefore, they will be graceful. It seems to make a 
great vacancy in our number to have you gone. It has come 
to be the time of day with me when I must begin to look to 
my children for enjoyment, hope, and brightness." 



38.0 JOHX TODD. 

To 3frs. Todd 

"May 9th. 
"James cried hard after you during all the first day after 
you left, but is now on the recovery, and has made money 
by exchanging his iron hoop and hook for a scaly wooden 
one — a perfect Todd trade !" 

To B. B. C . 

*' November 16th. 

" I suppose that of late you have had too many anxieties 
and business troubles to wish to write or be written to; but 
when the fragments of broken ships are coming to land, and 
the wrecked are creeping up on the sands, we want to know 
who is alive and who is bruised. The storm came so sud- 
denly, and with such power, that there Avas no time for reef- 
ing, and many a really good ship has been thrown upon her 
beam -ends. In this community, where we live almost en- 
tirely by manufacturing, we have been taken all aback. A 
few months since, there were supposed to be three millions 
of property in my congregation; and now it is almost im- 
possible to get money enough to pay for postage -stamps. 
Our factories are mostly at a dead stand. The wheels of in- 
dustry are all stopped, if not broken. Avarice howls in 
amazement; the temples of Mammon ring hollow; and Fash- 
ion ofiers to make her own shroud, if you will only give her 
the coarsest materials. But I think that the result will be 
good for the churches of Christ, and will lead many to see 
that, like the birds, when the trees were green and the leaves 
abundant, they built their nests in places not very secure. 
The leaves fall off, and we wonder how we could have built 
there. I presume that you have suffered personally — who 
has not? — and that care and anxiety and sympathy for oth- 
ers have left new lines upon your face. Well, my dear friend, 
if you have been honesty and done rigJit in and through it all, 
as I doubt not you have, you need not worry about the rest. 

"As for me, I preach to a very great assembly on the Sab- 
bath (there is but one pew in my church which is not rented, 
and yesterday not one empty, above or below) ; I preach ev- 
ery Wednesday evening, attend a prayer-meeting on Friday 
evening, and lecture every week to the young ladies at Ma- 
plewood Institute, to pay my children's tuition, to say noth- 
ing about my quill, speech-making, etc. But I am a poor 



I 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 381 

creature; and if you hear that the Master lays me up on the 
shelf soon, don't wonder at it. I don't know that my people 
were ever more constant at meeting, ever gave better atten- 
tion to my preaching, ever paid me more respect ; but it is 
so cold, so distant, that I feel solitary. Never one comes up 
and says, ' Sir, you have removed some doubts that troubled 
me,' or, ' I feel strengthened by those views,' or, ' I thank you 
for that particular train of thought ;' no one ever asks me, 
* Sir, are you comfortably off?' or, 'Are you getting along 
well ?' or, ' Don't you need to stop and rest awhile ?' or, ' Can 
I do any thing for you ?' I never feel the breath of sympa- 
thy, to say nothing about flattery. And yet they would not 
fill the church, and hang like icicles, as they do, if they were 
dissatisfied, and do it year after year. Oh dear ! I hope 
heaven will be a warmer world than this ! And yet they 
never come to me with fault - finding ; they let me come 
and go, and do what I will and as I will, and never trouble 
me. 

"I want to know all how and where you are; sitting, I 
trust, under I^athanael's fig-tree, with the eye of the great 
Redeemer upon you for good. We shall probably never 
live together in this world ; but it will not be long before 
we shall be in a better one, where the burdens of life will all 
be laid down, and the weary one at rest. Shall JTever be 
there ? I seem to feel that there are few so unlikely, and few 
so far from it, if moral fitness and holiness be the condition. 
Alas ! my Father's house is seen no more plainly than when 
I began to ascend the hill of life, and the mists and shadows 
that hang over the inheritance of God's children seem to be 
no nearer being lifted off. Is my title-deed safe? God 
bless you and yours, my dear friend, and may the golden 
dust of the angels' wings every day drop in your path !" 

To his Sister Elizabeth. 

"May 15th. 
" I have intended, every day, to write ; but every day had 
new sorrows, or troubles, or duties. I have had much to do ; 
for, though there has been no revival among us, I have at- 
tended ten or eleven meetings every week. In the next 
place, I have been very much out of health, have been under ' 
the surgeon's tender mercies three times, and am hardly able 
to say that I am better." 



382 JOHN TODD. 

To B. B. (7— 



"June 23d. 

"My courage and self-reliance are failing continually. 
Though I have no new theories in religion, and hold to the 
old landmarks, and preach the same old doctrines that I 
did when we were together, yet I sometimes catch a new 
thought, and have a new ray of light break in upon me 
from, I humbly hope, the Father of all lights. I should re- 
gret to have you draw from my letters that I am discon- 
tented or unhappy; if I am, it all arises from imperfections 
and sins within, and not from outward circumstances. In 
money I am poor, and always shall be. In position, I have 
enough to do, responsibility sufficient to bear, and all the 
respect and influence that I deserve. And yet the warfare 
within is not terminated, the victory is not yet achieved, and 
the song of triumph Js not yet sung. I am too often trying 
to hold a light for other footsteps, while my own are in the 
dark. But Berridge says that the iiame of him who plucks 

us from the burning is Holdfast I wish that I had 

something to return for all your kindnesses ; but when shall 
I have ? I belong to the great family of Debtors, a very 
old, if not a respectable, family, and it's too late for me to 
deny my relationship." 

" October 6tli. 

" It makes me sad to go and come and not have my peo- 
ple know that I have been away. Isot a soul bade me good- 
bye ; not a soul came to welcome me back. I do hope that 
when I die they will bury me with great propriety." 

To M. H. F . 

"November 8tli. 
" It is a long time since I have written to you ; but it 
has only been put off in the hope, fi'om time to time, that I 
should be able to command more time, and do the thing up 
with more propriety, and more to my own satisfaction, if not 
to yours. But leisure never comes to jne, and seasons and 
flashes of inspiration are too seldom; and you might as well 
expect the old wheel-horse of the mountain stage to play 
the colt, and run and kick up his heels, as to expect me to 
> break out in strains eloquent, original, or interesting. The 
angel of poetry, if he ever flew near me, has long since 
shaken out all the gold-dust he had in his wings." 



I 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 383 

To Sarah and Lucy^ teaching in Kentucky. 

" November 24th. 

"Do tell me all about your tableaux, and your Thanks- 
giving, and your calls, and your visits, and your teaching. 
I hope you are faithful therein, and eminently successful. 
See every thing you can, without sacrificing the character 
of a lady. Don't feel that you are to be affected by the 
question of money, as they are around you ; but remember 
that ice stand on character.'''' 

For more than ten years, Mary, his eldest child, had been 
slowly sinking under the power of an unknown disease. Ev- 
ery possible remedy had been tried ; she had been sent, at 
immense expense and sacrifice, to medical institutions of 
every kind ; and physicians of every school, and some of 
them among the most eminent in the country, had been sum- 
moned to prescribe for her ; but all in vain : it had now be- 
come evident that, so long as she lived, she would be a help- 
less sufierer. 

"December 25th. 

"Mary is about the same; but the angel of hope, as he 
looks in upon her, shakes less and less gold from his wings, 
and the poor thing has come to the conclusion that she will 
never again walk a step in this life. Thank God, she is 
cheerful, and sheds fewer tears than I do over her situation, 
though neither of us tells the other the secrets and the sor- 
rows of the heart. While / live, the poor thing will be cared 
for; and when I am dead, will not some kind hand be raised 
up to minister to her ? Why should I distrust ?" 

To B. B. C . 

" February 7th, 1859. 
"At the close of the services yesterday morning, I said to 
my congregation that it was an uncommon thing for a min- 
ister to introduce his own son into the ministry; that, dur- 
ing the seventeen years that I had been their pastor, I had 
had trials which I had not designedly been forward to ob- 
trude upon them, and also blessings for which I hoped that 
I had been thankful ; that I proposed in the afternoon to in- 
troduce my son to preach his first sermon, and perform his 
first public service before them, and besought their kind 
sympathy toward youth and inexj^erience. I wanted to dis- 
arm criticism. The people thought me almost mad to do it, 



384 JOHN TODD. 

and him mad for doing it ; even Doctor H thought it 

would be better to have liim preach somewhere else first. 
So in the afternoon my great church was crowded with peo- 
ple, and all in a state to sympathize. What would I not 
have given to have you present ! You can't think what a 
time it was ; how he went through the services amidst more 
tears than I ever saw shed in that house before ; and how I 
was as cool as a wooden clock till it was all over, and then 
— the tears — they icoulcl come ! 

"I thank you for Mr. Barnes's * Sixty Years' Sermon;' 
and when you meet him, I want you to thank him, in my 
behalf, for that cheerful, gladsome light in which he sees 
things, and which he so beautifully sheds all around him. 
It is truly a luxury to find one man at three-score who has 
not become in the least acid, and who can allow that all 
that is good and great and bright on earth is not clean 
ofone forever. To me men and thing's look smaller and 
smaller ; but, in every light in which I can look at it, the 
kingdom of Christ looms up larger and more important." 

To B. B. C . 

" September 12th. 

"At the present time we are very anxious about Lucy, 
and are sparing nothing to obtain the best medical skill for 
her. She must receive help soon, or my bright flower fades. 
It is a fearful time when you see the angel of woe poised on 
his wings near you, and you are watching to see if it is upon 
your family that he is to pour his vial. We shudder lest 
he fold his wings and pause before our door. Take all the 
comfort you can with your children oioio, I pray you, for 
as they grow up your anxieties will be immeasurably aug- 
mented." 

To his Brother William. 

" February 16tli, 1861. 

" I have been very sick with the diphtheria, and am just 
creeping up, though weak and feeble. For a long time I 
had two doctors twice a day, and twice a day had my throat 
excoriated with nitrate of silver ; and when that was some- 
what better, I had such a prostration of strength, that it 
seemed as if I could never rally. It seems all a troubled 
dream to me, but it was undoubtedly a narrow escape from 
the grave." 



LIFE AT TITTSFIELB. 385 

On account of bis prostration, his physicians prescribed 
great quantities of brandy. One morning one of his parish- 
ioners met another who loved a joke, and asked, anxiously, 
" How is Doctor Todd getting along, do you know ?" " Pret- 
ty Avell, I believe," was the reply; "the^only danger now is 
— delirium tremens." 

" Does it seem possible to you that I am sixty years old, 
and have been thirty- five years preaching the Gospel? 
What a dream is life ! And how little in the field that we 
have been cultivating now looks green and fair ! 

'•''Did you and I ever expect to outlive the union of our 
country ? Is the whole world mad ? Did you ever see the 
world so full of fools, all as mad as March hares ? Where 
we shall drift to, or where come out, the Lord only knows. 
Well, I mean to plant a few" potatoes, and make my gar- 
den as usual, and leave the country and the world in God's 
hands." 

In the month of April Doctor Todd was called to part 
with two venerable ministers, who had for years been his 
parishioners, and had always found him respectable, affec- 
tionate, and faithful as an own son. They had enjoyed the 
evening of life, and now finished their course, together. 
The venerable Doctor Humphrey was the first to go ; and 
he was followed, after a short but painful sickness, by Doc- 
tor Brace. Of the latter, Doctor Todd Avrote : 

"When I first knew him, he was in the glory of his days, 
nearly six feet high, straight, fineJy built, strong, and vigor- 
ous. His hair was curling and beautiful. His teeth even, 
and very white. His eye large, black, and brilliant as a 
diamond. His forehead was lofty and commanding. His 
lips somewhat compressed, and the whole impress of his 
character was, that he was a man decided and hard to be 
moved, capable of great mental labor, quick of apprehen- 
sion, and devoted to his one work. To see him, in the mel- 
low ripeness of years, so calm, so bright, so cheerful, and so 
loving, you would have no idea of the rough, stern, and 
hard materials out of which that character was formed. To 
see him denying himself almost in clothing and in comforts, 
that he might annually give more in charity to spread the 
Gospel than many whole churches, you would not think 
that he did this contrary to strong natural tendencies. His 



386 JOHN TODD. 

character was one of great simplicity. He made conscience 
of every thing, great and small. He would often ask if he 
had any duty, or if he had done his duty, as to this or that. 
This conscientiousness embraced his dealings, his studies, 
his dress, and even his sleep. Religion was the work of his 
life ; and it pervaded, transformed, purified, altered, adorned, 
and beautified the whole man. He spent most of his time 
for the last six years in studying the Scriptures, meditation, 
and prayer. His love for the Word of God exceeded that 
of any other man that I ever knew. He daily read it in dif- 
ferent languages, in five of which he was nearly perfect. 
He began the study of Hebrew at forty-five, and for the last 
thirty-five years has had a familiarity with that language 
seldom equaled. During his last sickness, when his mind 
was clouded on other subjects, the Scriptures lay in his soul 
like a well of pure, deep waters, every few moments gushing 
up with unrivaled beauty. He would even then mention a 
verse in English, and then put it into Greek, and next into 
Hebrew, with entire accuracy. In prayer he brought in the 
Scriptures so appropriately and beautifully, that it seemed 
like weaving a cloth of gold without the coldness of the 
brilliant metal ; and I have often been astonished to hear 
him take such passages as the Hebrew names in Chronicles, 
and use them in prayer most naturally and instructively. 
You seemed to feel that the very thorn-bushes were loaded 
with fruit, and wondered that you had never seen it before. 
We seldom, if ever, heard his equal in prayer. We have 
heard others pray as earnestly, as tenderly, and as fluently; 
but we never saw the man who was his equal in lifting an 
audience up to the very throne of God, and holding them 
there till they felt the very dews of heaven falling fast and 
cool upon them. His last sickness was one of terrible suf- 
ferings; the pains which others sufiTer all the way through 
life seemed to be condensed and laid upon him. Much of the 
time his mind was overpowered by disease, and always in ag- 
onizing pain, but even then his spirit was beautiful and child- 
like. Not an expression escaped him inappropriate, or which 
you would wish altered. Much of the time was spent, even in 
these circumstances, in quoting the Scriptures and in prayer; 
and every thought was in the line of religion. He wanted 
prayer in his room even longer than he could command his 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 387 

thoughts to follow it fully. And when at last, in the silent, 
hushed chamber, the messenger came, in the arms of his 
children he breathed out his soul as softly as the rose shuts 
her leaves at night. For many minutes we knew not in 
which world to think of him. Oh, father dear, dear! we, 
thy children, will try to take up thy mantle, and walk in 
thy steps, and feel that thy warm breath is upon us, while 
we seek to follow thy example," 

It is evident that from a father whom he held in such 
estimation, and with whom he had been in constant and in- 
timate correspondence and communication for nearly forty 
years, the son must have received many influences which 
went to form and modify his own character. 

" April 16tli. 

"Last Sabbath morning, in the pulpit in the first prayer, 
I gave out, and stopped — a dizziness in the head and brain, 
and a cold sweat over the whole body. I had presence of 
mind enough left to tell the congregation that I was over- 
worked, and could not go on. The gentlemen helped me 
down from the pulpit, marched me out, carriaged me, and 
brought me home. The doctor pronounced it over-mental 
labor, gave me no medicine, and ordered me to go out and 
Avork on my farm ; but there has been, and is, and is to be, I 
fear, such a horrible snow-storm here that there's no such 
thing as getting out." 

"May 6th. 

"All mind, and thought, and feeling here are absorbed in 
the war; and I am afraid that even good people are too 
blood-thirsty in their feelings and prayers." 

"June 3d. 

"It may be true that I don't icrite to my friends as often 
as I would, but they may feel assured that they live in my 
heart as warmly, and in my memory as freshly, as if I wrote 
every week. Indeed, I consider it one of my infirmities that 
I can't forget my friends." 

To B. B. C . 

" September 9th. 

" We talk, we read, we think, we dream of nothing but 

the war. Now, my good friend, don't you think that if you 

and I had the ordering of things, we should order them very 

diflerently ? Truly we should. But, could we see the end 



388 JOEX TODD. 

from the beginning, so as not to get all things so snarled up, 
that, to move or to stand still, would be a wide ruin ? Dear 
me ! if we can't manage our own heart and conscience and 
will, what should we do if we had a nation or a world to 
manage ? Xow, don't you wish that you had wealth, so that 
you could retire, and get away from all this noise and strife 
and struggle, and have quiet? Ah yes, but instead of being 

ony C , whose face I look at in my parlor every day, and 

who is now so kind, so humble, and so generous, you would 
be some old, avaricious, sour fellow, who would feel like an 
old pigeon which had gathered a great heap of grain, and 
must now flutter and fight over it, to keep all the pigeons 
in the land from picking it away from him — whom nobody 
would love or esteem. Xow, you don't have to worry about 
an estate which you may lose in a day, nor about a coun- 
try which is already dishonored, and may be a ruin within a 
Aveek, nor about battles which are the fulcrums on which 
the destinies of unborn ages are poised, nor about a Govern- 
ment which is in danger of being crushed by its weakness, 
or of becoming an iron despotism in its strength. Xo, you 
are not troubled by any of these things; for you have a 
pavilion, even faith, into which you may enter till the in- 
dignation is overpast. Good Father Brace went down be- 
fore the war ; and, if he has heard of it, he is so near the 
throne, that the roar of cannon doesn't trouble him. I do 
want to see you and yours, and to unite with you and thank 
God that he reigns, that he doeth all things well, and that 
he is leading us to a kingdom that shall never be moved." 

" October 24th. 
" Our ladies here are greatly engaged in knitting for the 
soldiers, and think of making the charity richer by dancing 
to close the exercises, so that the feet need not have the 
hands say, * Ye are idle.' " 

To Mrs. Lizzie H. Todd, after the Birth of her first Child. 

"December 23d. 
" I am greatly pleased with the name; not for my present 
great admiration of the state of Virginia, but because it is a 
long prefix to a short name. It sounds and reads well. I 
have thought much of you, dear Lizzie, in having this little 
creature to awaken in your heart anxieties that are new. 



I 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 389 

that are great, and increasingly so as long as you live. The 
French proverb is full of truth: 

" ' Tendresse maternelle 
Toujours se reuouvelle.' 

" If her life is spared, her education will commence before 
she is six months old, and every day of life after that is a 
day of discipline. I want you to lay the dear little one on 
the altar of baptism, and in the arms of Christ, at an early 
day, and to feel that she is only loaned^ to be recalled at the 
wise pleasure of her Maker. I anticipate that, as a mother, you 
will be all that a relation so tender and sacred can demand." 

" October 27th, 1862. 

"As for the war, I've preached over it, and talked over it, 
and prayed over it, till the thing has got too big for me to 
manage, and too big for any man or number of men to con- 
trol; and now I am fast coming to the place where I can 
leave it all in the hands of God, and let him manage it. I 
look upon it all as a deep river of God's providence, whose 
waters no human being can hasten or retard ; and I look 
upon battles and proclamations as nothing more than little 
chips cast ashore here and there, to show that the river is in 
motion. I have not yet seen a ray of light revealing the de- 
sign of God in permitting all this. It is all dark to me. My 
great joy is, that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 

"As to the disease with which you are afflicted (I mean a 
weak and lean ministry), I hardly know what to say. When 
good men remove, or seek a new home for their families, they 
are not always anxious, like Abraham, to journey toward 
Bethel^ where he knew there w^as a good altar. Patience 
and prayer are the best remedies you can use for the pres- 
ent, as it seems to me. I hope, my dear, good friend, you 
are growing in all that is really of any consequence in this 
world — the knowledge of Jesus Christ, admiration for his 
glorious character, love to his person, and communion with 
him through the Holy Spirit. Let me, dear fellow, share in 
your warmest, best moments of prayer. Do eternal things 
g7'oic upon you, come nearer to you ? Shall we soon meet — 
over the river?" 

"May 8th. 

" I am delighted to hear you speak so well of L 's 



390 JOHN TODD. 

economy. Tell her it's what I've been studying all my life; 
and though I have not attained, nor am already perfect 
therein, yet I continue to reach forward, and expect soon to 
attain it. Don't discourage her, as you do me, by insinua- 
ting that she really has not got it in her." 

" December 31st. 

" Were you to see me at about half-j^ast eleven o'clock 
daily, you would see my hair whiter, my face older, and the 
cares and burdens and sorrows of life lying heavy upon me ; 
but you would see me mounted on a wild, noble, four-year- 
old colt which few would dare ride, and taking my exercise 
irrespective of cold or heat. I ride about an hour daily, and 
thus am able to bear my burdens." 

The following letter was written in reply to one from a 
minister at the West who had, when a little boy, been bap- 
tized by Mr. Todd during his first pastorate at Groton. 

To J. K. X . 

"May 5th, 1864. 



"I should like to know what kind of a man J. K. N 

is ! to write to me — a man whom he never remembers to 
have seen, and of whom he, probably, by the merest accident 
heard — and to write about his own father and mother and 
old grandfather, and fill the soul with the memories of other 
days long since gone past, till the heart swells, and fills, and 
wells over through the weeping eyes ! Pray, what right has 

this Rev. J. K. N to make one look over long years and 

recall the imperfections of early manhood, and to see the 
forms and faces of the dead pass before the eyes of the mind? 
Among the many letters I have received, I never received 
one like that ; and, moved by the insinuations therein, I lost 
no time in communicating it to my flock; for I knew they 
were always ready to sympathize with their pastor, and, if 
need be, avenge his wrongs, so far as they judged best. The 
result has been, that tliey have directed me, in their name, to 

administer the reproof which the said X deserves. This 

I do by inclosing a draft for one hundred and ten dollars, to 
aid your faithful church people in completing and paying 
for their church edifice. I have only to add, that the Sab- 
bath of our collection was a rainy one, that we had three 
collections on that day, and a heavy one on the Sabbath pre- 
ceding, and that foi'ty dollars of this sura is the gift of our 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 391 

Sabbath -school, and is tlierefore, like the honey collected 
from the white clover of the spring, peculiarly precious, and 
should be made to go as far as possible. And now, dear sir, 
having administered the reproof which you deserved, let me 
say, that, though I may never meet you or any of your peo- 
ple in this world, my warm affection will travel the thousand 
miles that lie between me and them; and all I have to ask is, 
that I, going on the hill-side of life that lies toward the set- 
ting sun, and my dear people, who seldom refuse any thing 
I ask, may bg remembered in your best moments and your 
most fervent prayers." 

To his Brother William, 

" November 28th. 

"It has been a hard year for us. Mrs. Todd Avas sick, the 
first six months of it, with nervous prostration ; and then 
James was violently seized with rheumatism of the heart, 
which threatens to destroy life ; and then, just after receiv- 
ing your letter, our invalid Mary, who has not walked a 
step for over ten years, and who for the last year and a half 
has not sat up for an hour, suddenly broke her thigh-bone. 
She was lying on the bed ; and it was done in moving the 
limb. Ever since, for over two months, we have had noth- 
ing but watching, and care, and anxieties on our jjart, and, 
on hers, pains, spasms, and agonies." 

For a time it was hoped that the sufferer would be re- 
stored to at least her previous condition ; but ns the year 
drew to a close, the shadows began to deepen on the walls 
of " Mary's room." 

"December 16th. 

"My poor child doesn't rally, and I am trying evei-y hour 
to sav, cheerfully, 'Thy will be done.' You can't think how 
we cling to her." 

"January 5th, 1865. 

"Several times we have thought she was nearly through, 
and then she has rallied, and come back to pain and suffer- 
ing:. She has clung to life with a tenacity unexampled, and 
with a desire to live, that has given us inexpi-essible pain ; 
but now she bows to the divine will, and is resigned to die 
whenever God calls. Her life has been a wreck, so far as 
this world is concerned ; yet Ave can not but hope she is one 
of those Avho will have come out of great tribulation and 



392 JOHN TODD. 

washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. You will, 
perhaps, wonder why we cling to the poor sufferer so ; ah ! 
•if you ever have a bright child sick for eighteen years, and 
loving you only for thirty-six years, you will find the heart 
heavy enough if placed where mine is." 

Extracts from a private Note-hooh. 

'-'• January 8th. — Poor Mary — thrush begun !" 

^^ January \Mh. — Mary low — living by inhaling chloro- 
form. A day of great distress to us all." 

^^ January 15th. — Preached in great anguish of sj^irit. 
Four ounces of chloroform daily !" 

'^ January 22d. — A day of tears to us all." 

^''January 28th. — Sufferings vejy great. Immense quan- 
tities of chloroform." 

^^ January 30th. — Poor Mary — slept." 

To Jjucy. 

" January SOtli. 

"Our dear Mary is now at rest. We have followed her 
through all her untold sufferings, hanging over her day and 
night, till half-past twelve o'clock to-day, when she was re- 
leased. Such sufferings you never dreamed of. And what 
a vacancy in our household !" 

The vacancy was felt elsewhere than in the household. 
The invalid had for many years drawn to herself the sympa- 
thy and lov'^e of a wide circle of friends, and indeed of the 
whole people ; and they had testified their interest by great 
and unnumbered kindnesses to her, which are gratefully re- 
membered in the family. 

The father never fully recovered from this blow. The 
brilliant mind and long sufferings of his oldest child had 
taken hold of his very heart-strings. Months after her death 
he wrote : " In the removal of our dear Mary, the very cen- 
tre of the house was darkened, and the sunlight seems shut 
out forever." For years he used to dream of her almost 
every night, and often woke in tears. In his own last sick- 
ness, he remarked that the person above all others whom he 
longed to meet in the eternal world was — Mary. 

"They have printed one hundred thousand of 'In Memo- 
riam,' and are now talking of making it into a tract — ' Pol- 
ished Diamonds.' Perhaps her mission is not yet ended." 



LIFi: AT PITTSFIELD. 393 

"My poor suffering one is at rest. We have buried her. 
I was never aware that we did much or little for her while 
ishe was with us; but I can not now recall one thing more 
that we could have done for her. I sit alone, and think. 
She seems to be going farther and farther from me, and 
faster than I can follow. Shall I ever overtake her? When 
I come to the border-land, will she be far off? 

" I sometimes walk in the garden of Hope ; and it seems 
as if I could see her form now and then gliding among the 
trees, and her face turned toward me, and saying, ^Why, 
father, I'm your own Mary still I' " 

26 



I 



394 JOHN TODD. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD COntlUUed. 

The fatted Calf— Message to a Prayer-meeting. — Sick. — At Saratoga. — Sec- 
ond Meeting of the American Board. — "Vanity Fair." — An honorable 
Character. — A John Gilpin Time. — Chronicles. — Billy in the Pulpit. — 
Ring-tailed Monkeys.— The Power of Prayer.— Raffling.— A great Matter. 
—Thanks.— Trip to California.— The last Rail.— A holy Fossil.— The Mor- 
mon Temple. — Weak Consciences. — Sermon before the American Board. 
— Times of Paul. — New Lecture-room.— Swaying Bedclothes. — How to 
deal with Temptation. — A Pocket-pistol. — Rutland Ceutenuial. — The Res- 
ignation. 

To B. B. C . 

"February 5th, 1866. 

"We were greatly disappointed, and almost grieved, that 
you did not come to us last summer. We were told by 

Doctor M that you so calculated, and so we put on the 

best ' bib and tucker,' and killed the fatted calf, and dressed 
up the angel of welcome and placed him at the front door, 
and directed him to hold it wide open and bring you all in ; 
and wife got up her best cap, and I wrote — oh, a most mag- 
nificent sermon, or, at least, I selected a beautiful text, and 
we set every wire and spring in order, intending to have a 
glorious visit, and to recall old times, and read over the last 
chapters in the history of our lives, and to turn the tele- 
scope toward the future, and talk over our meetings and feel- 
ings a thousand years hence. So we calculated, and so we 
were disappointed. 

"Our childi-en are so gone that, for the present, wife and I 
are alone. We are not so young as we once were, but we 
try to be as comely in each other's eyes ; and if, perchance, 
we see that the hair grows whiter and the wrinkles more 
abundant, we are careful not to notice it, and dream that 
when warm weather comes we shall be as young and as 
fresh as ever. For variety, I have a broken arm " [in conse- 
quence of a fall on an icy sidewalk], " which I carry round 
done up in boards, heavy and useless, unless its continual 
achings are good to remind me what a beautiful thing pa- 
tience is. 



I 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 395 

" But I do want to see you, and to talk over many, many 
things; to compare notes, and to take the latitude and lon- 
gitude of life's voyage. I want your advice and good judg- 
ment; but, ah me ! how many things I want which I can't 
have ! One thing I hope, dear fellow — that we shall never 
spend twenty-four years separated again — never !" 

"March 19th. 

" I am working, aching, sighing, and wearying, all in the 
superlative degree. The Lord won't do as I want him to, 
and as I exhort him to do ; but he will move in his own 
way, and lets the wise and prudent remain in darkness, 
while he reveals himself to babes. 

" If I only had two well arras, and teeth that wouldn't ache, 
and legs that wouldn't tire, and feet that wouldn't shuffle, 
and eyes that could see, and a iew other like wants, I should 
be quite young." 

"April 22d. 

"I have been down — much on the bed, but managed to 
preach once — the most solemn audience I ever saw in that 

church. I feel very much as does, that the Lord can't 

do without me ; else I should drop all and rest at once. 
Our meetings w^ere never so interesting and important. To 
us the whole subject now is religion. I am hoping for a 
great work of grace. I number one hundred and five who 
have been to talk with me." 

The following was read at the morning prayer- meeting. 
May 4th : " Since God has brought us into the situation that 
we must now cJdefly depend on prayer and individual efforts 
for the salvation of men, I beg leave to say to my dear 
brethren and sisters, that in our united prayers ^ve should 
be careful and earnest not to liste^i to the jDrayers as we 
would to preaching or music, but earnestly and intently 
make every petition our own, and every prayer the full in- 
dividual prayer of every heart. As to personal efforts, the 
Spirit has now so far prepared the way, by softening the 
heart, that you may safely ask every one to come to these 
meetings, and even to Christ, without offense, and with hope 
of leading to Christ. I can not but believe that there are at 
this time many Xathanaels praying under the fig-tree, who 
would be glad to be led to Jesus. My spirit and my heart are 
with you in every meeting, though I am confined to my bed." 



396 JOHN TODD. 

To his Brother. 

" Saratoga Springs, May 29th. 

"Between seventy and eighty have united with my 
church since January came in. But I have had to work 
with a broken, shattered arm, which even now can not be 
used ; and then I have been sick, very sick, so much so that 
the doctors had consultations together, half a dozen at a 
time. I am better, but have not preached for many weeks. 
I am here on a furlough, with Mrs. Todd to take care of me. 
I don't expect to be able to preach again for at least two 
months, and I sometimes feel that my work is about done. 
All that I can claim, in looking back, is, that I have worked 
hard." 

In the fall of this year the Am^erican Board again held 
their annual meeting in Pittsfield. Of course. Doctor Todd 
was again the chairman of the committee of arrangements, 
and performed an incredible amount of labor in preparing 
for the entertainment of four thousand guests. His efforts 
were abundantly successful, and the second meeting at Pitts- 
field was, like the first, long remembered with pleasure by 
those who attended it. 

" February 6th, 1867. 

" I have been reading Thackeray's 'Vanity Fair,' or, as it 
might be called, a book describing the selfishness of the hu- 
man heart. Its effects are not at all pleasant, albeit it has 
been praised so much. It always hurts tne to keep bad 
company, whether in my house or on the pages of a book." 

To J. K. N . 

"February 19th. 
"I have been sorry to hear of the continued feebleness of 
Mrs. Celeste, and am sorry not to be able to do something 
for her worth mentioning. I have spoken to some of your 
and my friends, and the result is, that a small box goes to- 
day for you, containing remembrances ; and if I have not put 
in all that I would, you can guess why. Now, you know 
the hardest thing in the world is to feel grateful, and the 
next hardest is to express gratitude, and I will cheerfully re- 
lieve you of all such oppression, so far as I personally am 
concerned. By-the-bye, I have them come here for all sorts 

of charity, sa;f ing that Mr. N told them how rich and 

how liberal the Pittsfield people are. Now please stop that, 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 397 

or else we shall have too much of the superior blessing of 
giving. 

" I am about again, writing poor sermons and attending to 
pastoral duties, and getting ready for the 'great occasion,' 
the only John Gilpin time wife and I have ever tried to get 
up. I send your invitation by this mail, and most truly wish 
you could both be here and show a specimen of my baptisms. 

"As to your leaving, it is a very grave question. You 
will bear in mind that sometimes a church and a community, 
which have depended on the breath of one man, may run 
down very quickly if that man leaves. You must not lose 
the water which your dam has gathered. Bear in mind, 
also, that while, if you have a thousand dollars in money, 
you can transfer it, and it will be worth as much in one place 
as another, it is not so with character. That can't be trans- 
planted. You must begin anew, and work it out and up 
again. It takes a long time to become, in a new field, what 
you were in the old. I am confident that the most useful 
men in New England have been those who staid in one 
place. The question of leaving the West is a very impor- 
tant one. I ^consider a home missionary a very honorable 
character. Of one thing you may be sure, and that is, if it 
be the will of God that you go to another field, he will open 
the door and make it plain to you. Don't put your hand on 
the latch to open the door yourself. Let Providence open 
it, if he chooses. Work on hard, and if you are not in the 
right niche, you will be put into it without j^our efforts. 

"Let us live in your prayers that we may be right, /ee/ 
right, and do right in 'age and in the twilight of eternity, 
and especially that it may be the twilight of eternal day." 

The "John Gilpin time" referred to in the foregoing was 
the fortieth anniversary of the marriage of Doctor and Mrs. 
Todd, which was celebrated by the family and the people 
with considerable demonstration. It was also the tenth an- 
niversary of the marriage of the oldest living daughter, and 
was selected by the youngest daughter as the time for her 
own marriage to a young Pittsfield physician. 

"At half- past seven o'clock (March 11th) the wedding 
party entered the church, while the organ sent out in melo: 
dious strains, ' Mendelssohn's Wedding-march.' The parents, 
brothers, and sisters of the bridal pair were in advance, fol- 



398 JOHN TODD. 

lowed by the groomsmen, the brides - maids, and last, and 
most admired of all, the bride and groom. Doctor Todd's 
five grandchildren were also in the procession, and a lovelier 
sight is seldom seen. The party advanced to the pulpit, and 
remained standing while Rev. Doctor Brinsmade, of Newark, 
New Jersey, the predecessor of Doctor Todd as pastor of the 
Fii'st Church in this town, and his classmate in Yale College, 
offered the anniversary prayer, when the marriage ceremony 
was performed by Doctor Todd, under the deep and perfect 
silence of the great cloud of witnesses. At the close of the 
ceremonies in the church, a reception was held at the par- 
sonage. To the eight hundred invitations issued, at least 
five hundred responded in person. The presents to Doctor 
and Mrs. Todd and the bridal pair, were numerous and ele- 
gant. Quite one-half of them came from friends out of town. 
A peck-basketful of congratulatory letters was also received 
from friends who were unable to attend the triple wedding. 
One of these is a fair sample of the rest : 

"'In common wiih a great multitude of all ages, in both 
hemispheres, we greet you as, on your way up to the top 
of Pisgah, you come out to view, and stand together on 
one of its lower peaks. We congratulate you that God 
has given you strength for the journey thus far, and that he 
now gives you so wide a horizon and so fair a prospect on 
every side. We rejoice in what you and we now see, that 
even while clambering up rough defiles and dark ravines, 
the great arch above and around you was silently spreading, 
and the air growing more and more pure. Our heavenly 
Father, who tenderly spares his own sons that serve him, 
grant strength and sunshine through the remainder of the 
ascent, giving you at length, although we hope late, from the 
summit to see, with undimmed eyes, the Canaan you have 
both so long loved, to which you have pointed so many, and 
whither so many follow.' " [From a newspaper of the day.] 

" Chronicles of the Todd Faintly. 
"And it came to pass, a little after the summer solstice 
was passed, that the old priest of the hill country with Mary 
his wife, received by the swift runner (swifter than Ahimaaz 
and Cushi, the ancient runners in Israel), a loving message 
from their kinsman Robert. Now Robert dwelt in the 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 399 

pleasant valley, on the banks of the long river, and near the 
ancient deer-crossing where the caribou was wont to pass; 
hence it was called Hart-ford. And then did Robert say 
pleasant words, written on soft paper of great price, thereby 
showing a heart greater than the heart of the behemoth, and 
a spirit sweet as the dew of Hermon, and rich in fruits as the 
valley of Esdraelon. And so it was that when they read 
the letter, they did say one to another : 

" ' Mary, thou seest that my kindred have the spirit of love 
and goodness as well as thine.' 

" 'Yea, John, how wonderfully does the good Lord pour 
the streams of his mercy in upon us, at times and in ways 
we looked not for. I ho2)e we shall not have all our good 
things in this life.' 

"'And what shall we do with these new treasures? 
There's the carryall not paid for, and there's the — ' 

"'Hush, John, we shall j^ay for the carriage; let us carry 
this to the exchanger's and get us a bond, and keej) the 
same ; so that if the time comes when we are old and have 
no home, it will be so much toward getting the vine and 
the fig-tree, under whose shadow we can sit and see the sun 
of life go down, without anxiety — better oif than the good 
One, who had not where to lay his head.' 

" ' Daughter of prudence, thou hast well spoken, and it 
shall be according to thy word. Thy counsels are to me 
ever as the wisdom of Ahithophel before he counseled to 
do evil. And now that we have scrip in our purse, Ave may 
not hold our heads high, but we will write to our kinsman 
Robert, and certify to him that he hath poured oil on our 
face, and we will thank the good Lord that he hath made 
Robert a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well, 
whose branches run over the wall, and drop fruit into the 
basket of his neighbor. And, moreover, concerning Robert 
Lind his wife we will ever say, "Blessed of the Lord be his 
land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for 
the deep that coucheth beneath, and for the precious fruits 
brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put 
forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient 
mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, 
and for the precious things of the earth and fullness thereof, 
and for the sjood-will of him that dwelt in the bush."' 



400 



JOHN TODD. 



(" In answer to a note from my cousin, R. B , contain- 
ing two drafts for Mrs. Todd and myself.") 

" December 30th. 

"Alas ! when I got home I found my beautiful, my gentle, 
my knowing Billy was dead ! I never loved a horse before. 
He never got into the pul^^it till yesterday, but yesterday 
I could not keep him out. "Whether the Lord has another 
horse created for me is more than I know, and I shall not 
inquire at present ; but I am a deep and sincere mourner." 

"January 11th, 1868. 

"As to the women's speaking, I would pull out the plug 
and let the waters out. They will swell, and burst, perhaps. 
They all know that you do it under protest, and that you 
don't expect to be edified. It won't last long, and it will 
soon empty the pond. I believe it unscriptural, and against 
Scripture ; yet there are some things the Gospel bears w^ith 
and winks at, till better light comes. I would make no 
proclamation of a change in the programme, but silently let 
the dear sisters ventilate. 

"I'm crawling into my shell, drying up, making my study 
into a ' Growlery,' and coming to imbecility as fast as pos- 
sible. Still, I try not to groan aloud, or make up faces at 
people, but take it as it comes. Every thing is so dear, that 
I am almost afraid to ask for my daily bread." 

"May 13th. 

" I deeply sympathize with you in the low state of the 
purse, and can truly say I have never passed through a quar- 
ter without having agonies of the same kind, if not deeper." 

In July he was invited to speak before the "Litchfield 
County Foreign Missionary Society," in Connecticut. The 
following was his reply : 

"July 27th. 

"Mt dear Sir, — I can't conceive of an audience coming 
together at ten o''cloc'k a.m. on 'Wednesday I to see or hear 
any thing short of a hand-organ and a ring-tailed monkey ! 
But my wife thinks if I decline any call, folks will think I'm 
growing old ! So I'll try to meet your wishes." 

" January 4th, 1869. 

" I have more faith in the Miiller theory than I once had. 
I certainly have had in my own experience many striking 
illustrations and confirmations of it." 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 401 

" January 19th. 
" I believe more and more in Providence, and in the power 
oi prayer to modify Providence. Light comes from above; 
we must look up for light and direction. In the next place, 
when we don't know v:hat to do, we must stand still and do 
nothing till we do know. This is a hard and trying duty; 
for, when in trouble, we want to be relieved as soon as pos- 
sible. The concordance will surprise you by the encourage- 
ments to ' wait ' quietly and patiently when we are at a loss 
what to do. It is also my experience, that if we can refer 
the questions to the Master, and confidingly * wait ' for him, 
his providence will make it all plain." 

To John. 

" March 4th. 
"I have never worked so hard as this winter, and with 
results so unsatisfactory that my people are as cross as sin. 
They feel that I ought to have converted the whole town. 
There have been, perhaps, sixty conversions in my congre- 
gation. I wish I could see you. I feel the need of some- 
body to lean upon. That somebody must be one's own 
child, or nobody." 

To Rev. Mr. . 

" March oth. 
" In reply to your note, I would say that I know of no 
orthodox Congregational Church in Massachusetts who ad- 
mit or permit raffling, and therefore it can not be common 
among our churches. I deem it wrong in principle, wrong 
in execution, and wrong in results. It is gambling — nothing 
more, and nothing less. A French fiddler was once con- 
verted, and he wanted to honor Christ, and so he got a 
Christ painted with a fiddle under his chin ! And so, one 
wants a Christ who will fiddle; another, a Christ who will 
dance ; another, a Christ who will go to the billiard-table ; 
another, a Christ who will handle a pack of cards ! Poor 
sinners like you and me want a Christ to save us from our 
sins. Oh, when will the Church redeemed by his blood learn 
that she is a consecrated, converted, holy thing; not to be 
the instrument of bringing Christ doimi to the world, but of 
bringing the world %Lp> to him ; that selling him fi^r money 
is a poor way to obtain his blessing? If we can't raise 
money for good objects except by pious gambling, Christ 



402 JOHN TODD. 

can do without our money. I speak decidedly, because it 
is one step among many of our day toward overwhelming 
the Church of God wath the spirit of the world. I may 
not have met your question, but my words cost you little. 
Stand near and firmly by the cross. If the children of Wis- 
dom are but few, they will justify her and all other con- 
sciences will do the same." 

To John, 

"Marclillth. 
"You have, I doubt not, many warm friends; but among 
them all there is no one who will or can feel with and for 
you like a father; and though I can hope to aid you very 
little by advice, yet my warm sympathy and humble prayers 
shall be yours. Sympathy, like ,Falstaff's 'instinct,' is a 
great matter." 

"April 5th. 
"There have been some rumors about my people's send- 
ing me for a month across the continent to California, but 
I don't know as it will amount to any thing." 

To Mr. and Mrs. T . 

"April Mth. 
"When Paul was in prison at Rome, he wrote to his 
friends at Philippi that he would send the faithful Timothy 
to them as soon as ' I shall see how it will go with me ;' ^. e., 
I suppose, whether he should lose his head or not. I am so 
far in the apostolical succession, that I have to ' wait ' to see 
how things will go with me ; and, waiting to know the prob- 
abilities of my California journey, and being yet in the dark, 
I may delay no longer to write, lest you think me what the 
Scotch call 'a vera ivratch^ of ingratitude. When my kind 
boy, Frank, slipped your united card, with the accompani- 
ment, into my hand, at Mr. B 's, I had no idea what he 

was 'up to,' and gave him the passing civilities of the hour. 
I had no idea that he was placing a weight {not burden) of 
obligation on me which I must carry through life, and, as I 
hope, remember forever. Now, you loving ones, don't you 
know the luxury of having a pleasant secret which you com- 
municate together, and gloat over together? Even so I sur- 
prised my wife, on my return, by revealing the godsend ; 
and we sat down and enjoyed it, as two children would to- 
gether suck a huge sugar-plum — she entering into my joy, 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD, 403 

and I crowing that we still have such kind friends. And 
what do you think the good creature said ? Why, ' that her 
faith was strengthened that when I could preach no longer, 
if my people, on my leaving the parsonage to my successor, 
and my salary ceasing, did not take care of us, God would 
raise us up friends as we needed.' And this was not said, 
according to the Frenchman's definition of gratitude, ' a 
keen sense of favors to come,' but in simple, child-like faith. 
Xow, if I go to California, I shall most assuredly need, use, 
and consume your kindness ; and if I do not go, I shall put 
it into a little building-lot which I have purchased on credit, 
in the possibility that I may hereafter make a short home 
on Jubilee Hill, before going to dwell on the higher hill, 
that of Zion. In either case, I am more grateful to you 
.than I can remember words to express ; and I pray God to 
put every cent of it down to your credit and that of your 
children. And now, good friends, among other things for 
which you thank God to-night, don't forget to thank him 
for giving to you each a kind heart, a generous disposition, 
and a hand that opens easily. God bless you and reward 
you a hundred-fold, and make me all the better for his and 

your remembrance of me. My best love to dear Mrs. R ; 

may every blessing wait on her ! and to the lovely children ; 
may they one day become so many angels !" 

The journey to California was undertaken early in May, 
in the company of quite a party from Pittsfield, the gifts of 
generous friends having made it possible. It so happened 
that the party arrived at the junction of the Central Pacific 
and Union Pacific railroads just in time to witness and take 
part in the laying of the last rail in the great line from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific, and to enter California on the first 
train that went through from the East. The ceremonies of 
laying the last rail took place at Promontory Point. 

"The day was clear and beautiful; and the little gather- 
ing of less than a thousand people representing all classes of 
our people, from the humblest citizen to the highest civil 
and military authorities, met to enact the last scene in a 
mighty drama of peace in a little grassy plain surrounded 
by green-clad hills, with the snowy summit of the Wasatch 
Mountains looking down on the placid blue waters of the 
inland sea of America in the distance, formed a scene which 



404 JOHN TODD. 

can not be fitly described, but can never be forgotten by the 
beTiolder. 

" It was now announced that the last blow was to be struck. 
Every head was uncovered in reverential silence, and Rev. 
Doctor Todd offered the following invocation, which was 
telegraphed to all the principal cities in the Union as fast as 
it was uttered : 

" ' Our heavenly Father, and our God, God of the creation, 
of the waters, and of the earth, in whom we live, and move, 
and have our being, we acknowledge thee to be the God of 
the creation of the human mind, with its power and its suc- 
cesses. Now, on this beautiful day, in the presence of these 
lonely hills and golden summits, we render thanks that thou 
hast by this means brought together the East and the West, 
and bound them together by this strong band of union. We 
implore thee that thou wilt bless this work of our hands 
which we have now completed, this monument of our labor; 
and that thy blessing may rest upon it, so long as the hills 
remain among which the ends have been bound together. 
We thank thee for the blessings thou hast conferred on us 
and other nations ; bless our future, and those whom thou 
hast appointed to conduct us in it. We again acknowledge 
thy power, and beseech thee to bless the waters that wash 
the shores of our land, the Atlantic of thy strength and the 
Pacific of thy love. And to thee and to thy Son, Jesus 
Christ, shall all honor and glory be ascribed, world without 
end. Amen.'" [From a newspaper of the day.] 

In California Doctor Todd found many old friends, and 
was cordially welcomed everywhere. 

To Mrs. Todd. 

May 23d. 

" I can not begin to tell you how kind every body is to 
me, receiving me as a kind of holy fossil, to be handled with 
care. I am getting the hang of things here, and they hang 

very queerly I am honored far above all my deserts, 

as well as my expectations. I have become ' very remarka- 
ble,' ' very gifted,' ' of long experience,' ' of national reputa- 
tion,' ' one of the most eminent,' etc., etc. What would they 
say, if they only knew you^ the creator of all these wonders !" 

One large church went so far as to offer him a call with a 
great salary ; but he was wise enough to decline it. With 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 405 

all his age and infirmities, he was not to be deterred from 
the laborious journey to the Yosemite Valley, and to the 
great trees ; nor could he, on his way home, pass without 
visiting the Mormon city, Avhere he was invited to preach in 
the great temple. 

On his return home he announced his intention to deliver 
a short course of lectures on what he had seen, in acknowl- 
edo-ment of the kindness of his friends in sendino^ him. The 
lectures were delivered on successive Sunday evenings to 
immense crowds; but some tender souls being scandalized 
by such a profanation of the Sabbath, he preferred to sus- 
pend the course rather than offend weaker consciences. The 
rest of the course was delivered in a hall on week-day even- 
ings, for the benefit of the Young Men's Association. There 
being an admission fee, the attendance was, of course, much 
reduced. 

"August 13th. 

"My closing lecture went off far beyond my expectations; 
the people were so excited that they fairly cried. It was 
the largest and best audience I have had since the lectures 
ceased to be free. At the close, I thanked the friends here 
and in California for their kindness, and the community for 
their attendance, and then said, that I was glad I could do 
something for the young men ; that I should receive no com- 
pensation at their hands; and then said that I wanted to 
give them one word of advice : if ever they tried to do good, 
with their consciences satisfied that their motives were good, 
and if they should be abused while doing it, 7iot to tnind it! 
What shouting and clapping of hands ! It carried the audi- 
ence off their feet. If they are mad, they can't help them- 
selves. Now I have delivered the seven lectures, with a 
continually deepening impression : the success is a fixed fact, 
and I am as tickled as a boy with a new top." 

At the meeting of the American Board at Pittsburg, this 
fall. Doctor Todd was the preacher, appointed two years 
previously. His sermon was on " Missions created and sus- 
tained by Prophecy," and was a characteristic and much- 
admired discourse. 

"September 26th. 

"I preached my American Board sermon this morning to 
my own people, having rewritten every word of it since you 



406 JOHN TODD. 

saw it. I thiuk it took icell, and it gives me confidence in 
the tiling. Thank God, our sermons don't seem to others as 
they do to us." 

" October 22d. 
" You know that I have entered upon my seventieth year, 
and the last of my active ministry. It is a dreary, sad spot 
to reach, but I do hope I shall have grace to behave right. 
The feeling that you are doing this and that for the last 
time is a strange one. The most that I can hope to do is, 
to behave appropriately. I believe that after Thanksgiving 
I shall commence a course of lectures to my young people 
on the life and times of St. Paul. Of course, Conybeare must 
be the foundation. How does it strike you? I need a good 
theological library. I want to carry my ministry out full to 
the end, and stop rather than be stopped." 

ToJ.K. jsr . 

" November 15th. 

"I thank you for your kind thoughts and plans, and letter 
of wishes for my welfare. It is possible that a year hence 
I may have courage to go to work to build something, not 
knowing whether it will come out a scow or a barn, a maga- 
zine or something else. But it now seems as if I should use 
up all my courage in bowing my spirit to my fortunes, and 
learning to behave w^ell when stripped of the priest's gar- 
ments, as Aaron was, and learning and feeling that the world 
can get along without me, and that I am not needed. But 
I intend to be cheerful and bright, and neither mourn nor 
whine. I have no plans whatever." 

"November 29tli. 

" Our new chapel is beautiful ; seats six hundred, and by 
opening doors will seat two hundred more : cost over twen- 
ty-one thousand dollars. 

" We have a literary club here, limited to twenty-five, all 
graduates but one or two. We meet every Monday night ; 
hence its name — The Monday Night Club. It meets at the 
members' houses in turn, with an oyster and coffee entertain- 
ment at half-past nine. It goes well — that is, the eating does." 

To John. 

"November 30th. 

" Xow, my dear John, we must take these disappointments 
and mortifications, and resolve them into a discipline which 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 407 

God weaves around us, not always making us wiser and 
better, but designed to do so. We must all go through these 
bruisings, if we ever do any thing; and the difference be- 
tween a fool and a wise man is, that the one is brayed in the 
mortar to no good results, and the other is made better by 
the pounding. Churches, and congregations, and things, and, 
indeed, the age we live in, sway this way and that, like our 
bedclothes at night, nobody knows how or why ; but they 
go, and leave us half naked and quite cold. I am sure I 
sympathize with you enough ; and if I don't seem to see 
your troubles looking as large as they do to you, it is be- 
cause I have learned that nothing is as great as I once 
thought — always excepting the Bible and its contents. 

To J. K. N^ . 

"March 31st, 1870. 

"If I didn't suppose you a man brimful of truth, I should 
doubt about my owing you a letter. However, I find it the 
easiest way to let people thin'k thej are right; as the old 
Scotch lady said, 'I ken the easiest way to deal with temp- 
tation is just to yield to it.' 

"As to ' copyright,' we who use the quill, and tap the 
brain for the world, are wholly in the hands of publishers, 
and they are men : ' Beware of men ;' for, as my unmarried 
Irish girl says, ' Sure enough, these men are as dape as the 
say.' 

"I am giving a course of lectures on the life of Paul, with 
maps, views of cities, etc., which I get from London. 

"I have loaded my pistol, and it's in my pocket; and if it 
doesn't hurt my ^eo/:>/e, it will kill me dead. I have written 
my resignation, and shall present it, if I live, some time in 
the course of the summer. The poor worm, as he spins his 
cocoon, doesn't know that it is to be his shroud and grave; 
nor does he know of the resurrection, when he will come out 
in new life, with wins^s ! But I'm not intendinor to whine or 
whimper more than I can help ; and, as my powers decay, I 
want to take joyfully the spoiling of my goods. I love to 
hear from you, and hojDC for often letters. They cost but 
three cents each." 

To B. B. C . 

"April 12th. 
"I'm pleased that you remember your old friend and write 



408 JOEX TODD. 

to him, and wonder why he doesn't wnite to you. I have 
set the time, and times, when I w^ould ; but I've so much 
to do, and withal have not as much courage as Daniel had 
when they tumbled him in among the lions. 

" If to forget and think meanly of one's work is a mark of 
humility, I'm sure I must be quite humble ; for I can not see 
a single spot in my past history or deeds, in the review, 
which is not marked by siu or folly, or both. 

"At t-he close of this year, before I get old and foolish, and 
not able to tell w4ien my faculties decay, I am going to lay 
down my burdens and retire from my responsibilities. Then, 
after a life-w^ork of nearly fifty years, I shall be without a 
house or a home, and as poor as need be ; but I trust to the 
kindness of the Master whom I have tried to serve. What, 
if any thing, my people wdll do toward making the old worn- 
out minister comfortable, I don't know\ I try to cast all 
my cares on Him who careth for us. My own experience is, 
that when I have needed, I have found the ass tied, or had 
the fish bring money in his mouth. As to the great future, 
why, if I had in any degree, the very smallest, to depend on 
my own goodness or works, I should despair. The hardest 
thing I have to attempt is, to realize that I can live and be 
conscious after I am dead." 

"August 8th. 

"Xext month is the time I have fixed upon to read my 
resignation. As the time draws near, of course, it brings 
sadness. They all say that I never preached better, or with 
more profit to them, but I have had no wavering in my own 
mind, or judgment, or determination." 

"August 28th. 

" My congregation was never so large, and, externally, so 
prospered, as at the present time; and it gives me great 
comfort to think that I have not been left to see decay 
written upon any thing pertaining to the concern." 

To JB. B. C . 

"September 30th. 
"Rutland, Vermont, is my native town. 
"Rutland is just one hundred years old. 
"Rutland was my father's home. 
"Rutland celebrates, next week, her centennial. 
" Rutland wants me to preach the centennial sermon. 



I 



LIFE AT PITTSmELD. 409 

"Rutland says that as I was not present at her starting, 
and as I may not be there at the next centennial, I must 
come; and so, 

"Rutland will keep me from the meeting of the Board, 
and also from your most delightful hospitality. 

" What a visit we did have at your house ! It is even now 
like the odor of one of Lubin's phials, almost as rich as when 
the phial was full of essence. 

"You will see by the inclosed paper that I have thrown 
myself upon ray friends and a faithful Providence. It was 
a sad and melancholy duty, but God helped me to go man- 
fully through it." 

" To the First Church and Society, Pittsfield : 

"Dear Brethren and Friends, — The aggregate expe- 
rience of men seems to indicate that the mental and bodily 
powers may usually be relied upon to sustain us under the 
duties and responsibilities of life up to about the age of 
three-score and ten years. In certain cases they hold out 
longer, and now and then a man retains a good measure of 
vigor till seventy-five, and even longer; but such cases are 
exceptional, and should not be presumed upon. Although 
the winds of autumn hare for some time solemnly murmured 
around your pastor, yet he finds it difficult to realize that he 
is so near the goal at which wisdom would admonish that 
the work of his life is nearly done, and its heavy responsibili- 
ties must be laid down. Should I live to the close of this 
year, I shall have come to that age, after reaching which 
heavy labor is usually a burden to the minister, and most 
likely unsatisfactory to his people. If he labors much be- 
yond that period, he is in danger of having his powers decay 
without being conscious of it, and unwittingly trespassing 
on the kind forbearance of his flock. 

" I hardly need say here that, while I have given you the 
best of my strength and life for nearly a generation, it is a 
matter of unspeakable gratitude that there has never been 
an unkind feeling on my part toward my people, nor an 
unkind act on yours toward me. Few men have ever had 
more to be grateful for in this respect than myself. I have 
given myself to you and to the ministry, without seeking 
this world. When I came to you, now nearly thirty years 

27 



410 JOHN TODD. 

ago, I put myself unhesitatingly in your bands, and you 
have never abused this confidence. And no thanks, how- 
ever warmly expressed, can exceed what I feel toward my 
flock. And it is no more than justice to my people to 
say that the present movement is wholly from myself I 
have not heard a whisper from my people that leads me to 
make it." 

The writer then proceeds to indicate his wish to be re- 
lieved of pastoral duty and responsibility, to be permitted 
to retain nominally the position of pastor, to spend the re- 
mainder of his days with his people, and at last by their 
hands to be gently laid in the grave. He refers also to the 
necessary trials of an aged minister, and invokes the kind 
consideration of his friends. He then speaks of his circum- 
stances, his inability to do more than support and educate 
his large family, and meet the extraordinary expenses of 
years of sickness, alludes to his repeated refusals to enter- 
tain invitations to leave them for more lucrative j^ositions, 
and throws himself upon his people's sense of what is fitting. 
"And as my feelings toward my people are like those of a 
father toward his children, may I not confidently hope that 
the children will never feel that the old man, worn out in 
their service, is a burden I ask ^^our charity and for- 
giveness for all my many imperfections; and, again thank- 
ing you for all your forbearance and numberless kindnesses, 
I close this communication by solemnly invoking the richest 
of heaven's blessings on you and your children, and asking 
your fervent prayers in my behalf. 

"Your affectionate pastor, Jj^o. Todd." 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 411 



k 



CHAPTER XXIX. 

LIFE AT PITTSFIELD COntinued. 

The old Ship.— These Wives.— Fern Pastures. — Breaking of Heart.— The 
sick Child. — A sad Baptism. — Yale. — The Rainbow. — Spirits in Prison. — 
Frozen together. — The Decrees. — An active old Man. — Alarming Attack. 
— Duties relinquished. — Kindness of Parish. — To a bereaved Brother. — 
To Saxiim Magnum. — The deceased young Minister. — To his Successor. — 
A mere Babe. — Turning into a Shadow. — Trip to Philadelphia. — Green 
Remembrance. — The last Communion. — The last Baptism. — To the Presi- 
dent of a University. — A Letter of Consolation. — The last Sermon. 

To J, K. X . 

" December 12th, 1870. 
"The old ship was coming into the harbor, with masts 
and spars battered and broken, the sails rent, and hull worn 
and covered with barnacles, and hoping to cast anchor and 
rest; but, before she could do it, the steam-tug grappled her 
and towed her out, to be tossed on the sea and again beaten 
by storms. In other words, I sent my resignation of active 
duties to my people, proposing to stop work with this year ; 
and they, when I was vacationing, met, and coolly and unan- 
imously accepted my proposition — to take effect January, 
1873 ! They made no explanation, nor any promises for the 
future ; only that the old horse seemed to have too much 
work in him to be turned out to browse just yet ! So here 
I am. I replied to them that I would attempt to meet their 
wishes, on condition that, if my bodily powers gave out (of 
which I must judge), or if my mental powers failed (of 
which they must judge), I would stop at any time. They 
made no promises or allusions to any support or kindness 
when they have used me up. I should have been pleased to 
have some allusion to that point; but perhaps it is better to 

walk by faith, especially for me I am always glad when 

I receive a letter from you and that Celeste-ial being who 
is your good angel. Oh these wives ! what should we do 
or be without them ? When you become old, and go down 
the hill together, and together look toward the sunset, you 
will understand this better than now W6, my good 



412 JOHN TODD. 

boy, plan to do so and so; but the hand that holds and 
guides us doesn't let us do so and so — we must do his will ; 
and the more we make our will like his, and ourselves like 
him, the better. But it seems almost like blasphemy for 
such a poor creature as I am to talk about being like God — 
the mote like the planet Jupiter ! But I do sometimes long 

to be like Christ Oh, how did David, with so little 

knowledge of his Son, ever ' pant after God,' as he surely 
did ? He must have been taught by the Holy Spirit, whom 
he knew not by name. I am preaching and laboring for a 
revival, not because I can make one, but because God seems 
to lead my heart that way. When I want it for his sake, 
and not mine, won't he send it? You must understand 
that my house and my heart are full of mercies ; and I can 
hardly make out a want, before God sends to meet it. Am 

I having my portion all here ? God bless you, dear N , 

and make you happy in your work, and blessed in success. 
But if he tells us to rake in the fern pastures, and our hearts 
are right, we shall be and feel blessed. Don't forget or 
neglect, when you bring your wants to the throne of God, 
to bring me also. You hit it exactly; 'Zam thy exceeding 
great reward' — nothing short of this; and I don't suppose 
{hat Abraham understands it as well to-day as he will four 
thousand years hence. Ever yours, truly and lovingly." 

Although the foregoing letter, like others written at about 
the same time, expresses disappointment in the action of 
the parish, and though the writer vms unquestionably disap- 
pointed in the absence of encouragement from his people 
that he would not be allowed to want in his declining years, 
yet it was very evident that the postponement of his retire- 
ment was an unspeakable relief and joy to him. So thor- 
oughly was his work entwined, not only with all his habits 
in life, but also all his tenderest affections, that, while his 
reason and judgment counseled him to retire, and his will 
sustained him in the resolution, yet the very thought of it 
was heart-breaking to him. There is little doubt that the 
action of his people in postponing his retirement for two 
years prolonged his life by so much ; and that when he sunk 
at last, it was more from a silent breaking of heart under 
the surrender of his work and flock, than from any other 
cause whatever. 



LIFE A T PITTSFIELD. 4 1 3 

The spring of 1871 brought another great affliction. Aft- 
er several years spent in acquiring familiarity with busi- 
ness, the youngest son, James, had opened a store in Pitts- 
field, with a small capital furnished by his father and friends, 
and by dint of great exertion and self-denial was beginning 
to find some success. Two years previous to this, he had 
married and established himself in a little home of his own. 
But, near the close of 1870, he was suddenly attacked by a 
peculiar disease of the heart, originally induced by rheuma- 
tism. For many weeks he lay very near the grave, sufier- 
ing indescribable agonies ; and during all this time con- 
stantly visited, nursed, and supported by his anxious par- 
ents. At last he began to recover, though with the pros- 
pect of being a cripple for life. During his convalescence 
he read and thought much, and manifestly matured rapidly 
in intellect and in Christian character. Before he was able 
to rise from his bed, he was presented with a little daughter, 
whom he named Mabel, and for whom he cherished many 
bright hopes. Only one week after this, while his father 
was watching alone with him one night, he suddenly uttered 
that cry which so often accompanies death from heart-dis- 
ease, and expired in his father's arms. 

Extracts from a private Note-hook. 

"May 17th, 

"My dear son James died in my arms this morning at 
half-past four o'clock; — a noble creature, never had been 
well ; prepared, I believe, by the long and hot furnace in 
which he had been lying, for the great change. He died in 
my arms, leaving a young wife, and a babe one week old. 

" Oh for grace, for submission, for faith !" 

"May 19th. 

" Buried our dear James ; age, twenty-two years and ten 
months. Funeral large, kind, sympathizing. Doctor Strong 
officiated, and exceedingly well Services began at his 
house, where, over his coffin, I baptized little Mabel. Sing- 
ing there, *Flee as a bird,' etc. At my house, all my chil- 
dren present; all went to the grave; singing soft and good. 

R. P took charge of the funeral, and every thing went 

like a clock. 

" O my noble, affectionate, generous, suffering child ! A 
child of God ! To die is gain ! Yah^ valeP'' 



414 JOHN TODD. 

It was a terrible blow to the tender-hearted father, from 
which he never fully recovered. For months that cry rang 
in his ears. 

To Mrs. E. J. W-^-. 

"June 20th. 

"It is so natural, when the heart is full oi any thing Joy 
or sorrow, to want to pour it out upon others, that I fear, 
were we now to see you, you must justly feel that we were 
burdensome; but ' a friend is born for adversity.' 

"After more than five months of most terrible suffering 
and pain, after his faithful mother had gone to him day and 
night, all that time, as none but a mother could do, after 
hopes and fears (we now wonder how we had any hope), our 
dear James, in his twenty- third year, was taken from us. 
He was our beautiful staff, and it was broken without a mo- 
ment's warning at last. I was alone with him, and he died 
in my arms, leaving a little daughter just a week old. He 
lived just long enough to give her her name — Mabel Todd. 
His was the largest, brightest intellect among all our chil- 
dren, and the most loving disposition. ' The whole commu- 
nity loved James Todd ;' and when his funeral took place, 
every store was voluntarily closed. He was a member of 
my church, and secretary and treasurer of our Sabbath-school. 
During his sickness he ripened fast. As the leaves of the 
tree fell off, it was seen that the bird had built her nest in a 
strong place. When we laid him in our beautiful cemetery, 
the heavens were dark and the thunders loud ; but hardly 
had we laid him in his resting-place when a full, complete, 
low^ rainbow was flung upon the cloud in the east, bright as 

the smile of God. Forgive this long moan, dear Mrs. W ; 

sorrow knows not where to stop." 

In this last year of his ministry he preached very often in 
the new jail, Pittsfield having just been made the county 
town. 

" September 19th. 
"I'm preaching to the spirits in prison; and, as many 
who don't go to any church crowd in to see the prisoners 
preached at, I have made them contribute, and have already 
one hundred dollars to begin a jail library. I don't believe 
any other fifty men in the county receive half the attention 
and expense that those fifty rascals do." 



LIFE AT PITT^FIELD. 415 

"Later. 
''I preaeli three times on the Sabbath; once to the prison- 
ers in the jail, a punctual and attentive audience, and with 
whom I am so popular that I may get a call when I have 
done in my parish. I have been the means of getting them 
an organ and a library." 

To Miss E. 31- , England. 

" December 15th. 

"Mt dear Miss M , — Our mutual friend, Mr. P , 

informs me that you have lost your aged mother, and were 
with her when the unseen hand lifted the latch and beckoned 
her away. I congratulate you that you have now a living 
mother (' Whosoever keepeth my sayings shall never die '), 
w^ho can die no more. I congratulate you on the fact that 
she knew, and you know, whom she believed, and that the 
aged pilgrim has reached her home ; the old ship, with spars 
broken and sails rent, has entered the harbor, and storms 
will no more beat upon her, nor waves of doubt toss her, 
nor midnight darkness settle over her. Mourning is not the 
word to apply to such partings. I congratulate you once 
more that you have so many memories left, and among them 
the recollection that you had the honor of ministering to her 
last days and years, and probably were in her last earthly 
thoughts. God knew the trials of ministering to age, and 
therefore gave the command, 'Honor thy father and thy 
mother,' with the promise of present reward. Happy the 
child who can feel that she met this requirement faithfully 
and cheerfully. Xow I seem to feel it impossible, even if I 
were not a stranger, to send oif a letter of sympathy over 
the great ocean, and for thousands of miles, and have any 
thing left in it, when it reaches you, but the chill of the 
ocean and the faintness of distance. It seems like a kind of 
polite mockery ; and yet, my gentle friend, were I with you, 
I could say no more, feel no more, nor comfort any more 
than I now can. For the first year, after my friends are 
gone, they seem to be going /rom me ; after that, to be com- 
ing toward me : on the same principle, doubtless, that cars 
which do not move seem to be coming to us, when really it 
is our cars that are going toward them. It must be the old 
soldiers, who come out of many battles and struggles, and 
the aged disciples, who come out of 'great tribulation,' w^ho 



416 JOHN TODD. 

wear robes very white. God bless you, good friend, and re- 
ward you for all that you have done or will do for human- 
ity, whether it be in the form of mother, or that which is 
only related to Christ. Yours, in the love of Jesus." 

" March 20th, 1872. 
"I would not have thought that I ever could lose my 
courage and resolution to the degree that I have. I tried 
hard, from the week of prayer, to get up a revival and to 
convert men, but I couldn't, and the Lord wouldn't, and so 
we are just so — very united, because frozen together." 

To J. a: JV . 

"April 5th. 
" I am always more than glad to receive a letter from you ; 
and if I don't write so often, you niust remember that I am 
an old man ; that it takes the old mill longer to grind out 
the poor weekly sermon than it once did ; that I have my 
great parish still on me ; that I have a great many letters to 

write ; and, finally, that I am incorrigibly lazy We are 

sorry to hear about the ill health of your good wife. What 
weights God has to put on us to keep us down ! We who 
have had so much sickness in our family, and who have 
stood at so many graves, know how to sympathize with you 
all, and hope and pray that the cloud may soon turn into a 

shower that shall make your home brighter than ever 

As for me, I write and preach, and preach and write, and 
seem to be like an old frigate rolling in the trough of the sea, 
not quite in harbor, and not in a condition to bound off on a 
new voyage. My people throw up their caps, and cry, 'Oh, 
he never preached so well as he does now !' But I know 
better; and I know that if I live nearly nine months longer 
I shall drop all responsibility, and own up that the world 
can do better without me than with me. Then I shall leave 
the parsonage, but where to go I know not. I have no house 
or home, and my people have not yet stirred about it. But 
I have no fears. God will give me just what he wants rae 
to have. I believe in the decrees.^ and wish there were more 
of them, even such as would convert my hard-hearted ones 
before I die. Won't it be a new feeling, that you have 
done your poor work of life, that you have nothing more to 
which to look forward, and are now like a piece of soiled 
foam lying upon the waters, only waiting to have the waves 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 417 

recede and leave it to dry up on the sand ! Well, I only 
pray that I may have grace to behave well — to do and to 

be just what the divine Master wishes "We have had a 

terribly hard winter; the mountains are still white, and the 
ice is thick, and the frost is six or seven feet in the ground, ' 
and Spring dare not show the tips of her fingers, lest they 
be cut off as boy's fingers are in the cutting-machine. I loish 
I could see you ! I have the feeling that it would make me 
ten years younger. Who knows where I shall go or be after 
December 31st, 1872. Now, don't go to pity me as a vener- 
able, bent, crooked, trembling, whining, feeble old man; for 
I walk without a cane, write and read without my glasses, 
write and study in my shirt-sleeves, have the Nimrodic fever 
once a year, and hie away into the forests, carrying prog and 
gun, and — do many other things equally ministerial and pu- 
ritanic. My glorious old girl unites with me in a profusion 
of love. Amen." 

His release from pastoral duty came sooner than he an- 
ticipated. 

To John [in pencil]. 

"April 16th. 

"A week ago to-night, while attending the installation- 
services of Mr. T in New York, I was taken numb ; 

went out, found I could not walk ; had a very sick night at 
the hotel ; next day with great difficulty got home ; have 
not sat up since. I am better, but weak and tottering ; still, 
I can walk. I shall at once ask my people to release me 
from all active service, and make such arrangements for the 
future as they deem right and proper. Not unlikely I have 
preached my last sermon." 

" Later. 

"The parish have unanimously voted that I have the 
house in which I live as long as I live (I prefer it altogether 
to any house they could procure), and that my salary be 
continued unaltered. I do think this is kind, generous, and 
noble — a high compliment to me, and an honor to them." 

For many years he had been expecting a stroke of paraly- 
sis, and on this account he was perhaps unnecessarily alarmed 
by the symptoms of this attack. Relieved from pastoral 
labor, and from all anxiety for the future, he soon regained 
comfortable health. 



418 JOHN TODD. 

To his Brother JVillkwij on the Loss of his Wife. 

" May 6th. 

"How little did we think, when we were boys, what our 
path in life would be, or through what waters we should be 
called to wade ! Your letter came to-day, and I hasten to 
give you the assurance of my warmest sympathy and love. 
It is a matter of thankfulness (and in our sorrows we niust 
not forget this), that you have had this true and faithful 
friend with you and by you so many years, to share all your 
joys and sorrows — the best friend a man can have. I have 
always had a great esteem for her humble, sincere, and true 
piety, and have no doubt ^he has gone to dwell among those 
meek and quiet spirits ' which in the sight of the Lord are 
of great j^rice.' I do earnestly sympathize with you in your 
loneliness and almost helplessness. You will live over and 
think over the past, and, doubtless, recall much that you 
wish had been otherwise ; but all these memories will soften 
the heart, and keep you from dwelling too much on the pres- 
ent. Were it not that the cup of life has bitter dregs as we 
come near the bottom, we should be too unwilling to have 
it taken from our lips. In a few weeks, after the first waves 
of sorrow have rolled over you, you will begin to feel, not 
that she is going from you, but that she is coming toward 
you, and you will soon meet. This was sudden ; but old 
people usually fall suddenly; as the aged trees of the forest 
fall, not in the crashing storm, but after the storm is past 
and all is still. You w^on't feel this wind prostrating you ; 
and yet you may find that it slowly but surely is undermin- 
ing your strong constitution. Oh, it gives me unspeakable 
joy to feel that all our father's family belonged to Christ, 
and will, I hope and pray, all meet again, where God shall 

wipe away all tears from their eyes I feel that my 

life-work is done, and that I can only present to the Master 
a few withered leaves, instead of the great sheaves of wheat, 

which I ought to have brought him I mingle my 

prayers constantly with yours, that you may have the rich- 
est consolations of Christ. Keep near him; there is none 
like him.^^ 

At the meeting of the trustees of Williams College, in 
June, Doctor Todd resigned his seat among them, and Rev. 
Mr. Flint was chosen his successor, the title of D.D. beinor 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 41 y 

conferred upon him at the same time. The followino- an- 
nouncement of the change was sent by the retiring trustee 
to his successor : 

"June 8th. 
''^ Beverendus Ephraimiis Flinty A.B., A.JI.^ D.D., Curator, 
etc., etc., etc. : 

" O Saxum magnum ! thee, Doctor illustrissime, i congrat- 
ulate, doctissime et illustrissime, that thou, by the uplifting 
of thy friends, hast risen to the sublime position of Doctor 
DivixiTATis ! How hard they lifted and tugged to attain 
this, i shall not now relate ; but i, i, laid down and stripped 
off my honors, that thou mightest become Cueator Coll. 
GuiL,, and take thy seat among the great, while i, at the 
end of twenty-seven years' service, return to that obscurity 
which is my natural condition. Do thou valiantly in Israel, 
and possess the gates of thine enemies ! and, O Saxum mag- 
num ! when thy head is lifted up into the bright sunshine, 
do not thou forget the humble fi-iend who did what he could 
to bring thee out of the prison of Ignotum. Great Doctor, 
i sit down at thy feet, most humble, and shall ever rejoice 
to see thy shadow enlarge ! 

"Dear Doctor, i am thine truly and humbly, 

" Jxo. Todd." 

The death of a promising young minister in the' neighbor- 
hood, near the close of the year, called forth the following- 
letter to his father : 

Tv 3Ir. C . 

" October 28th. 
"My dear Sir, — I feel so little acquainted with you, that 
I fear you will feel that I am intruding, w^hile I simply ex- 
press my deep sympathy with you and your family in your 
recent deep, long-to-be-continued affliction. To think how 
that young prophet has been born, trained, educated, en- 
tered and honored the ministry, completed his work, and 
entered into his rest, and all since I have been a pastor in 
this place ; to think how much we need humble, earnest, and 
able workmen in the Master's vineyard ; to know how quali- 
fied he seemed to be, and what large promise he gave of 
great usefulness, by his natural lovely traits of character, by 
his thorough education, by the magnetism of his manner, by 



420 JOHN TODD. 

his humble and yet manly piety ; alas ! it makes it all seem 
a dream ! I mourn for the Church of God, and for the cause 
which lay so near his heart. ' Verily, thou art a God who 
hidest thyself.' He does not explain, or lift the curtain be- 
hind which he conceals his providences. ' What I do thou 
knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.' 

"The first thing I want his father and mother and family 
to do is, to bow in silence, submission, faith, and hope, and 
believe that God is wise and good, even when clouds and 
darkness surround him. The next thing I want you to do 
is, to thank God that he gave you such a son to give back 
to him. Then I want you to feel that he is not far from you, 
but so near that you will be the better for his life and death, 
as long as you remain on earth. Don't ask that the cloud 
be ever entirely taken up from your home; it never will be; 
but it may become so luminous that you can see bright 
stars through it. Forgive my intrusion, and receive my 
warm and deep sympathy, and my earnest prayer that, as 
you pass through the fires, the flame may not consume, and 
through the deep waters, they may not overflow. I have no 
right to claim any title here other than that of stranger, and 
yet I venture to subscribe myself your sympathizing friend." 

To John. 

" October 22d. 

"I am distressed about Lucy's going oflT to Europe alone 
with her children, and you all wonder why I don't go with 
her. Xow, you can't realize that with age comes timidity, 
and a want of what the English call pluck. I have a great 
dread of being sick away from home — a great dread of any 
change. I want to creep along near the shore, where I can 
run into a harbor when the wind blows or the storm comes. 
I can't describe it, but it is a feeling of uncertainty as to 
every step, and of dimness that is drawn over every object." 

Toward the close of the year, the church and parish in- 
vited the Rev. E. O. Bartlett, of Providence, to become Doc- 
tor Todd's successor, and the retired pastor wrote him as 
follows : 

"November 5th. 

'• My dear Sir, — My eyes are in a state so unusual, and 
so unusable, that the doctor forbids me to use them at pres- 
ent: I must, therefore, make my say a short one. Before this 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 421 

you will have received a communication from my flock in- 
viting you to become their pastor. It seems as though your 
entrance here was providential, and I can not but hope it is 
all under the special direction of God. I need only say that 
a people who could bear with me over thirty years, and not 
have a single unpleasant thing occur, must be a remarkably 
good people. Sometimes there have been nearly forty col- 
lege-educated men in my congregation — a congregation dis- 
tinguished for education, wealth, refinement, and nobleness. 
The church is sound, and every thing in a most desirable 
condition. Were I now at the age of forty, I would prefer 
this post and this position to any one I know of. 

" But I took up my pen simply to say that, if Providence 
inclines you to come here, you will find me^ I trust, broad 
enough, and man and Christian enough, to welcome you, 
and to be to you all that you could wish. It is my prayer 
that I may behave well and do no hurt ; if I can't do so, I 
think God will take me out of life, or I shall take myself 
out of town. At all events, you will account me a helper, 
and not a hinderance. I have no fear but we shall botli 
wish to get along well together, and succeed in our en- 
deavors. You can hardly imagine how intense is my inter- 
est that my people have a man consecrated, pious, sound, 
and thorough in theology — a devoted and common-sense 
man. Excuse my fast writing, and believe me cordially jjnd 
afiectionately and truly yours." 

The installation took place on the first day of the new 
year, and the retired pastor delivered the " charge " in the 
same tender spirit of cordiality; and it is believed that he 
never failed in any respect to keep these promises. 

To Mrs. W . 

" January 6th, 1873. 

" I have three or four diiferent kinds of feelings in my 
heart; one is of great loiieliness^ having just seen my suc- 
cessor settled over my flock. I feel like one attending his 
own funeral, and seeing another man coming and marrying 
his own wife — like standing bolt upright, and seeing one's 
self turned into a shadow — like the commander of a great 
ship seeing himself turning into a figure-head." 

On the 3d of February, the thirty-first anniversary of his 
settlement, he preached, by request, a historical sermon, giv- 



422 JOHX TOBD. 

ing a sketch of the First Church and its pastors from its be- 
ginning. From his statements with reference to his own 
pastorate we learn that, during the thirty-one years, he had 
administered over five hundred baptisms, attended over nine 
hundred funerals, labored in six great revivals, and admit- 
ted over one thousand to the church, " and had those Avho 
thought they passed from death unto life at Maplewood 
(Young Ladies') Institute made a profession here, the num- 
ber would have amounted to twelve hundred at least." 

Early in April, Doctor Todd and his wife made a trip to 
Philadelphia, and received a most cordial welcome from 
their many friends in that scene of their former labors and 
trials. "We have been amazed how many hold us in 
green and warm remembrance. The papers say I have re- 
turned after a 'fortnight's' excursion, 'in fine health and 
spirits.' What would the papers 7iot say, if they knew 
all the attentions and kindnesses we received while away ! 
Why, types wouldn't begin to describe it ! . . . . I have re- 
turned stronger, in better health and spirits, with more hope 
and courage, laden with sweet memories, and oppressed by a 
sense of the kindnesses received. Mrs. T. has been so ' set 
up ' by the journey that I have weighty fears lest she would 
not be able to come down to ' common doings.'. . . . Please 
greet all who may ask after us; and take a cathedralful of 
love and thanks for yourselves, till Mrs. T. writes, which she 
will shortly do, and with an appropriateness that makes my 
very pencil tremble." 

On his return, he spent a week with each famil}^ of his 
children in Ansonia and New Haven, Connecticut, preaching 
in both places. In the former place he administered the 
communion for the last time, and in the latter he administer- 
ed baptism for the last time, giving a name to the youngest 
of his grandchildren ; and those who were present will not 
soon forget the group of parents and babies, the font filled 
with rose-buds, or the prayer of the aged father, so appropri- 
ate and touching in its allusions, so tender in its feeling, so 
fragrant with the breath of the faith and. love and hope of 
an imperishable youth. 

Soon after his return he wrote to his friend, J. K. N , 

who had become president of a university in Mississippi, as 
follows : 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 423 

"May 20tli. 

" I have long been wishing to write to you, hut you are 
so far away it wearies me to carry or follow my letters so 
far; and I have so much to say, and know not what to say, 
that days and weeks rush by, and still your good letters re- 
main staring me in the face, and crying out, ' For shame ! 
for shame !' The most important thing in the world is one's 
se//'and so there I begin. I am doing nothing; ^. e.,I only 
preach about two sermons on the Sabbath, here and there, 
write weekly for the CongregationaUst^ some for the Observer 
and Sunday School Tunes, and loaf, and groan that Samson 
must grind in the mill, when he wants to be pulling down 
the very pillars of Dagon's temple. Wife and I have just 
returned from a journey to New Haven, Xew York, Phila- 
delphia, and Delaware, where we had a kind of '7b triumphe ' 
all the way, and were feted and toasted till my wife is so 
'set up' that I can hardly board with her since. She is 
pretty well, as handsome (only sixty -seven years old) as 
ever, worries greatly to see me set aside, feels that light, and 
wisdom, and greatness (wives never dare say much about 
the goodness of their husbands !), and judiciousness, will and 
must and shall die with her husband; and though she has 
not exactly convinced me of all this, yet I begin to feel that 
ruin to our churches and to the world can't be so far off as 
it used to be ! 

" So you are changed into a man-of-all-work, to fill your 
new field, sowing and tilling, and reaping full ears and 
blasted. Well, I can't judge for you ; and every man must 
paddle his own canoe in his own way, only remembering that 

it should go forward, and not backward or sideways 

Xow, don't scowl, and purse up your lips, as if I were hitting 
the dignity of the President of Tougaloo University. Far 
be that from me ! I take off my hat, and reverence such a 
title and commission, though written on birch-bark and hung 
on a thorn-bush. I am delighted at the idea of your com- 
ing to Williamstown. I have resigned my trusteeship; so I 
can't stand in the way of any honors, or break any eggs that 
the good old hen may want to confer or lay. President 
Hopkins and I are enjoying (?) ''otium cum dignitate? Ah 
me ! how Latin revives in one's memory when writing to the 
president of a university ! Why, I almost want to talk it. 



424 JOHN TODD. 

Three babies ! how fast you grow rich ! Blessings on them ! 
I have just baptized my twelfth living grandchild : think of 

that — and be humble ! I'm as ignorant as ' Nicodemus, 

who built the ark ' of all your section of country ; but I imag- 
ine a poor, illiterate, kind, stupid, prejudiced population, half- 
civilized in habits and three-quarters barbarous ; the mud- 
holes inhabited by crocodiles, flamingoes, cranes, and mosqui- 
toes — the woods, by squirrels, owls, and turkey-buzzards (no 
gophers !) ; the waters stagnant and sluggish, inhabited only 
by bull-heads and blood-suckers, though called rivers ! Now, 
isn't that the right picture ? I may w^ell say here, that I 
write with a pencil, to designate that I know my letters 
are not worth preserving, and because my hand goes stead- 
ier, and my (what you profanely call) hieroglyphics are not 
quite so bad. My wife sends love, greetings, and every 
thing but money to you and yours. As you value your 
word or your life, don't you fail to come and see me this 
summer. Would you think that the snow is still lying on 
our mountains in vast drifts, in sight of my study ? I wish 
you had it ; 'twould refresh you." 

To Mrs. W- , on the Death of her Brother. 

" May 15th. 

" Deae, dear Mrs. W , — We were so detained by a 

sick grandchild, that we have but just reached home; and 
here we find your letter, so heavy with sorrow that w^e could 
hardly hold it up long enough to read it. I had had such 
strong hopes that your dear brother had not done his life- 
work, and that he was to be lent to earth longer, that I was 
surprised, even to a shock. How unlike our ways are '"His 
ways.' We, were we to select, should not strike down the 
strong, gifted, noble, almost perfect man, at the very noon- 
tide of life ! But I am talking about only one side ; about 
* striking down,' when I ought to be thinking of the noble 
warrior called home, the faithful servant promoted, the earth- 
born becoming as the angels of God, the weary one gone 
to rest his head on the bosom of Everlasting Love. I don't 
know what I can say, my dear friend, to comfort you : the loss 
is too great, the wound too fresh, the grief too deep, for human 
sympathy; and yet we love to know that we are surrounded 
by an atmosphere of sympathy, and that we mourn one so 



LIFE AT PITTSFIELD. 425 

important that, as at the falling of the lofty tree, the ground 
trembles far around. You know I consider you all as a fam- 
ily of nature's nobility, and so I feel that 'a prince is fallen 
in Israel.' I am sorry for his afflicted wife, favored as few 
wives have been ; and I am sorry for those fatherless chil- 
dren ; and I am sorry for you^ who now seem to be bending 
under a second widowhood ; and I am sorry for the brother, 
who feels as if one-half of himself were smitten down ; and 
for the sister, also a widow. What memories must crowd 
upon you as you meet together ! How much to recall in the 
past ! and how much to hope for in the long future before 
you ! Every day you are nearer to them than you were yes- 
terday. Ah ! these our precious earthly jewels are falling 
away ; but we know that Christ is making up his crown. 
They, doubtless, wonder at our sorrow if they know it ; and 
we should have no sorrow could we see how much they 
have already become like the Redeemer. Letters, my dear 

Mrs. W , are cold ; they have no tones that are tender, 

no breathings that warm the heart, and no power to go di- 
rectly to the soul and comfort it. But there is a Comforter 
who can do all that, and far more ; and I pray that you may 
hear Christ say to you all, ' I will not leave you comfortless ; 
I will come unto you.' " 

Soon after his return, he preached once more, and for the 
last time, to his old flock. This last sermon that he ever 
wrote had been prepared with special care. His theme was 
that which had all his life been most precious to him, and on 
which he had best loved to speak — the divinity and glory of 
Jesus Christ. " The Word was made flesh." Could he have 
foreseen the events of the next three months, he would hard- 
ly have wished to change the closing sentence : " Oh, the re- 
deemed ! the redeemed ! they shall see the King in his beau- 
ty ; they shall walk with him in white garments; they shall 
drink of the river of pleasure which will forever flow at his 
right hand ; he will meet his brethren, as Joseph did, and 
say, ' Come near to me,' and so they will be ' forever with the 
Lord.' Oh, the last look we give on earth, we want fixed on 
thee! and the first look we give in eternity, we want fixed 
on thee! the last song on earth, and the first in heaven, we 
want to be — Praise to the Lamb who was slain for us, and 
who washed us from our sins in his own blood." 

28 



426 JOHN TODB. 



CHAPTER XXX. 

HIS STUDY. 

A pleasant Room. — The Library. — Missionary Magazines. — Positively Dis- 
graceful. — An omnivorous Reader. — Guns. — The Wood-nymph. — Drawers 
of Sermons.— Canes.— The Golden Wedding. — The sick Child.— Two old 
Pastors. — The hard Man. — Jerusalem. — The lame Brother. — Mementoes. 
— The Fisherman's Lounge. — Pain. — The Desk. — The stolen Knife. — The 
Clock.— The Chair.— The inner Life of Imagination, Memory, Hope. — 
Sources of Power. 

Let us pay a visit to Doctor Todd's study. It was here 
that most of his hard work was done, and, in fact, most of 
his life was spent. It is a large, pleasant room, up one flight 
of stairs, on the south side of the house. In the winter — and 
much of the year is winter in Berkshire — the sunshine lies 
warm upon the carpet, and an open coal fire glows brightly 
in a large soap-stone stove. At the farther end of the room 
a broad arch opens into a second room as wide, and half as 
deep, as the first, whjch contains the library. In the middle 
of its west wall the book-cases part for a window, adorned 
somewhat with stained glass, which looks out toward the 
sunset, and the surpassingly beautiful outline of the Tagh- 
conic hills. The library contains two or three thousand vol- 
umes, and is of a mixed character. At the first glance there 
seems to be very little that is modern or, valuable. A re- 
cent visitor, giving his impressions upon a cursory survey, 
writes: "The book-shelves were well filled with books, but 
they were all old books by Puritan authors, abounding with 
bound volumes of tracts, missionary magazines, etc. I did 
not notice a single volume of current literature, art, science, 
or tlieology. He was emphatically a man of the old school." 
The remark shows that the wn-iter's observation was hasty 
or careless; for nestling among the old brown -calf books 
are many of the most recent and most advanced publica- 
tions on all subjects. Doctor Todd did not draw the fresh- 
ness of his thoughts from old " tracts and missionary maga- 
zines." In his reading he kept abreast of the times. But 



HIS STUDY. 



427 



the general appearance of the library is antiquated ; and, as 
a whole, it is not a choice collection. Doctor Todd himself 
felt it. " My library is positively disgraceful ! Oh, for books, 
books !" Its condition is easily accounted for. 

In the fire which destroyed his house and most of his ef- 
fects, when he first w^ent to Pittsfield, the library which he 
had been selecting and purchasing for many years with great 
cost and care was mostly consumed. In their overflowing 




DR. TODJJ S STCDV, 



sympathy, his friends made him a great many presents of 
books ; but, strange to say, they proved to be, in general, 
better adapted to fill his shelves than to store his mind. 
Then there were old volumes given him by aged pastors of 
the preceding generation, preserved as keepsakes rather than 
for their intrinsic value. Here, for instance, are a few vol- 
umes from the library of his father-in-law, musty relics of 
the theology of almost a century ago. And here are the 
"bound tracts" referred to; they are a small collection of 
the publications of one of the London Tract Societies, which, 



428 JOHX TODD. 

after publishing and republishing his writings for many- 
years Avithout the slightest acknowledgment of their author, 
at last made him this precious donation as a substitute for 
copyright money. Doctor Todd did not use such books 
much; but he referred to the more recent works in his li- 
brary constantly, and he read a great deal more than was 
to be found there ; for after his great loss he made little ef- 
fort to accumulate a library. Indeed, he was an omnivorous 
reader, devouring every thing that he could lay hands on, 
not only with reference to theology, but that had any bear- 
ing upon his various pursuits of fancy, or any thing in sci- 
ence, literature, or art that was of interest. "Deep are my 
regrets that I have not read less and thought more. We 
waste, or rather never accumulate, ^the strength that might 
be ours, by not demanding it. Many a writer popular for 
an hour has spent his life in shooting sparrows with fine shot, 
because he w'as too indolent to carry a rifle wdth a calibre 
sufliciently large to bring down the bufi*alo." 

This figure may have been suggested by a glance at the 
entrance to his library. "As you stand in my study and 
look into the adjoining library, you notice that over the 
door are several things that have an untheological look. 
There is a long, small, iron-pointed javelin, which came from 
Africa. Xear it is a long, double-barreled gun — ' my Secesh 
gun.' What is its history? I don't know. It was made 
in Liege, Belgium, for so says the engraving on the barrel. 
But whether the man who made it is alive or dead, I know 
not. It is a powerful gun ; has two barrels, which are near- 
ly four feet long. It weighs twelve and a half pounds. It 
has a bruise on the breech. The two locks, and indeed the 
whole thing, seem to be in order. It was taken on the field 
of battle at Baton Rouge, and the man who carried it out 
was probably killed. It was sent to me by a young captain, 
a friend of mine." Near-by are several other guns and pis- 
tols and revolvers, some of them of the best and most recent 
manufacture, others mere curiosities, from their antiquity or 
associations. Here, for instance, is an old flint musket, man- 
ufactured long ago in Pittsfield by a parishioner now^ passed 
away. It found its way down to North Carolina, fired its 
last shot at "the boys in blue," and was picked up on the 
field of Newbern, and sent home to the Doctor by one of the 



HIS STUDY. 429 

.brightest and most promising young men of his congrega- 
tion, who never came back himself. Up in one corner of the 
collection hangs a pair of snow-shoes, brought home from 
Canada, on which, it is tolerably certain, the owner never 
walked. At one foot of the arch are piled two or three 
shells, sent from the South, one of them, perhaps, still unex- 
ploded. At the opposite foot of the arch "you see an eight- 
sided, pillar- shaped thing, with a marble - colored basin, and 
a pure marble top, the top being several inches larger than 
the pillar, Avhich also is eight-sided. The whole height is 
two feet and nine inches. Then, on the top of all this is a 
glass cover about two and a half feet high, and large enough 
round to more than cover the basin. In the centre of the 
basin is a little brass jet, containing nearly forty little holes 
in a circle, each hole just large enough to admit a very fine 
needle. Then, outside of the glass, and on the marble top, 
are three little statuettes, white as the driven snow. They 
are about eight inches high, and each is intently looking at 
the little jet. One is ' Winter,' pausing on his skates, as if 
in astonishment to see the sight; for I have only to touch a 
little brass cock, and up leaps the water through those little 
holes, nearly forty little streams, and each springing two 
feet into the air, and then turned into a myriad of silver 
drops, bright as diamonds, leaping, and laughing as they rise 
and fall, and dropping into the basin with the sweetest, ring- 
ing, singing sound ever heard. It seems as if the fairy 
daughters of music had got under my glass cover, and were 
each playing on her own harp. I can think of nothing but 
pearls dropping into a well, or golden balls falling into cups 
of silver. With what profusion the jewels are tossed out ! 
And yet Winter is gazing, and he seems to forget to put 
down his foot with the skate on it. On the other side is 
'Autumn,' with his sheaf of grain, leaning against a bee-hive, 
and with great satisfaction and admiration looking at the 
fountain. On another side still is a gentle girl coming to 
the fountain with her pitcher in her hand, and a dove 
perched on her shoulder. These all seem to stop in admira- 
tion of what they see. I never tire of this beautiful thing. 
I hear its noise, and I seem to be in the woods on the mount- 
ain-side, listening to the brook as it glides between mossy 
rocks, and then leaps over stones, and dances down into the 



430 



JOHN TODD. 



deep basin below. I seem to be on the little stream in the 
deep woods, where, in childhood, I used to wander, and list- 
en to the sweet notes of the wood-thrush. I have many me- 
morials of kind friends in my study which are beautiful; but 
the stranger hardly notices them, he is so much delighted 

with my tiny fountain — 
the wood-nymph whom I 
have coaxed to come in 
here in the second story, 
and to pause long enough 
to sing her wild song, and 
to dance in her robes of 
light. There it stands a 
living fountain. Nobody 
can see how the waters 
get there, or how they are 
carried away. There it 
leaps and rings day and 
night, never weary, never 
pausing, never other than 
beautiful. I sometimes 
almost imagine my fount- 
ain to be the very one 
spoken of by the prophet 
— a fountain for Jerusa- 
lem and the house of Ju- 
dah. I almost imasfine it 



the fountain of life, and 
my little marble men to 
be angels 'desiring to look 
into ' it. But, ah me ! that 
fountain was opened thou- 
sands of years ago, and 
has been gushing up ever 
since ; and it will still gush up when I and my dear little 
fountain shall be forgotten. But a few can ever see mine ; 
thousands will see that, and rejoice in it forever. O fount- 
ain of life ! opened by the Lord Jesus Christ, not to bless one 
solitary study merely, but to well up in every sanctuary, and 
in ten thousand human habitations. The dancing feet of 
childhood pause, and the silvery voice is hushed, as the child 




THE FOUNTAIN. 



HIS STUDY. 431 

gazes at my fountain ; but the waters of life cause the lame 
to leap like the hart, the dumb to sing, and the song of hope 
and of faith to rise up loud and sweet, till its echoes are re- 
turned from heaven. O my little fountain, speak to my read- 
er, and whisper in his ear, ' The waters of life, the waters of 
life! Whoso drinketh of them shall never thirst.'" 

Witliin the library are nine large book-cases, two of them 
made by his own hands during his first settlement. Every 
book-case is open, the opening being made to arch overhead 
by corner pieces of black walimt sawed in open work, hung 
on hinges, and enlivened with strips of gilt, and has in the 
lower part of it three large drawers, filled for the most part 
with manuscripts. "In forty-six years I have written over 
four thousand sermons. The full drawers on hand, even 
now, astonish me." 

The walls of " the study" are covered with pictures, 
some of them really fine chromos and engravings, others of 
no merit, or worse ; but every one of them has its history and 
associations which have made it sacred. Everywhere there 
are articles which have each its story, and which have fur- 
nished each a leaf in his published writings. 

In one corner stand a dozen canes. One of them, a very 
handsome gold-headed ebony stick, was presented to Rev. 
Heman Humphrey, D.D., ex-president of Amherst College, 
and a predecessor, and, later, a parishioner of Doctor Todd's, 
by his children when, with liis wife, he celebrated his golden 
wedding. It bears the inscription : 

'■'■Hodie Baeulum. Cras Corona. 1858, April 20th. 
Rev. Heman Humphrey, D.D,, Pittsfield." 

After his death it was sent to Doctor Todd, with the fol- 
lowing note : 

"My dear De. Todd, — We have all felt that in the 
breaking-up of our home here we should like to leave some- 
thing with you which would be a slight expression of our 
appreciation of your kindness shown to our family through 
so many years and in manifold ways. We have selected 
this cane, because we have thought that its associations 
with our dear father, to whom it belonged, might give it 
additional value to you. It was one of the gifts of love 
presented to him at his golden wedding (bearing that date), 



432 JOHN TODD. 

and was often carried by him during his later years, until, 
at the Master's call, he dropped ' the staff,' and passed over 
the river to receive ' the crown.' 

" You may, perhaps, like to give it a place in your collec- 
tion of articles of association and interest. Wherever our 
broken family may be scattered, we must always remember 
with sincere gratitude all that you have ever done for us 
in the varied scenes and experiences of our dear Pittsfield 
home. Most sincerely yours, S. W. H." 

" Did I ever feel worthy to have that glorious old minister 
sit at my feet for twenty years ? Do I feel worthy to own 
this gift of love on which he once leaned ? No, no ! The 
cane seems to say, 'You know, sir, that he bore fruit even to 
the end of life, and when he fell at eighty-two, he was found 
watching and at work. The blossoms on the tree in autumn 
were hardly less beautiful than those of spring. I notice, sir, 
that you never pass his grave in the cemetery without cast- 
ing your eye on his tomb. The very sunlight that falls 
upon it seems softer and purer than what falls elsewhere; 
and no one ever passes this grave without feeling, if he knew 
him well, that there rests the dust of the most j^erfect char- 
acter it was ever his lot to know.' Yes, good cane, I know 
all this, and often feel humbled that I so long shared his 
confidence and friendship without improving more by them ; 
and often mourn that I can recall so many things by which 
I might have done more for his comfort ; but I can truly 
say I honored him as a son, and reverenced him little less 
than I should a prophet. Go back to thy nail, staff of beau- 
ty ! I shall probably never lean upon thee, or carry thee out 
of my study ; but thou wilt awaken memories tender, sad, 
and yet thrilling. I doubt if thou couldst have fallen into 
the hands of one who would prize thee more, thou memorial 
of a great and good man, and of a remarkable family. This 
simple chaplet I weave, and hang upon the old minister's 
cane." 

The next cane, " a great, heavy, black, club-like fellow," 
belonged to the Doctor's eldest son when in college. The 
next, a light, white stick, of no value in itself, was once pur- 
chased and carried for a little while by the younger son, be- 
fore he died. "The next — that beautifully mottled cane — 



HIS STUDY. 433 

was born in Florida. I believe it is a species of thorn; 
smooth as silver, and about as hard. It has a large, preten- 
tious ivory head, wrought octagoually. It was sent to me by 
a sick child, when away from home " [his invalid daughter, 
Mary]. " It is a beautiful cane, valuable to me because con- 
nected with memories and anxieties which have left their 
deep marks upon me, but which are not to be spoken of. I 
shall probably never use it ; but I could not spare that cane." 

The next cane w^as carried for many years by his father- 
in-law, Doctor Brace, till he was called away from Doctor 
Todd's own house, and left it behind. The next was not 
only owned for fifty years by Doctor Brace, but carried for 
sixty-five years more before that by Rev. Joshua Belden, his 
predecessor for that length of time in the pulpit at Newing- 
ton, Connecticut. " They both used this cane all this time. 
Simple stick! if you could speak, of how many weddings, 
and sick-beds, and funerals could you give me the history ? 
As you stood in the corner of their study, how many prayers 
did you witness? How often did you go into the pulpit, as 
the man of God leaned on you and trembled under his re- 
sponsibility ! 

"That stout, knotty, heavy, orange -wood cane grew in 
South Carolina. It was the gift of a hard, rough man, a 
long, long time ago. I wish I could recall any good in him. 
But he has gone to the dead, and I am not called upon to 
judge him." The gift was received when, a poor, sick stu- 
dent in college, he spent a few months in Carolina for his 
health. 

"Little, long, crooked, and unw^'ought orange stick, thou 
comest next ! What of thee ? Thou art a child of the East. 
Thou wast hanging over the north wall of Jerusalem, when 
a beloved missionary cut thee off the parent tree and sent 
thee home. So thou tellest me that Jerusalem is still there 
— her ' walls continually before Him ' — still trodden under- 
foot by the Gentiles, and waiting for deliverance ! Thou 
tellest me that the warm heart of the missionary still beats ; 
and though he is now on the 'goodly mountain, even Leba- 
non,' yet he still remembers Jerusalem above his chief joy. 
Yes, and thou tellest me that there is a heart, greater, 
warmer, even than the good Calhoun's, which beats over 
Jerusalem and his cause ! So the morning sun, glinting over 



434 JOHN TODD. 

Mount Olivet, fell on thee, as thou didst lean over the wall 
and look into Jerusalem ! Thou dost not tell me what thou 
sawest in that poor city, but thou leadest my thought away 
to that New Jerusalem, where nothing that defileth shall 
ever enter, and where even the orange-blossom shall not be 
the sweetest thing therein." 

The next was the favorite cane of his brother-in-law, Joab 
Brace, Jun., Avho was for so many years an inmate of his 
family. "That beautiful staff helped to support a lame 
brother, as he pronounced the valedictory oration at college 
commencement, as he stood up to be ordained a pastor, and 
as he went down to an early grave. The hand that leaned 
on thee has been cold many years, and the image of that 
sainted one has often visited me in. my dreams. 

" But who will write the history of my canes forty years 
hence ? What old men will lean on them ? What memo- 
ries will they gather as years pass over them ? There is a 
broken one ; its history is strange, but I have no time to 
write it." And now it will forever remain unwritten. 

This corner is but an illustration of the associations that 
hang around the articles with which the room is crowded — 
all gifts, or memorials of scenes that are past or friends that 
are gone. 

In one corner stands a small glass case filled with stuffed 
birds of brilliant plumage. Yonder there is another, w^th a 
tiny tete-d-tete silver tea-set on the top of it, also under glass. 
Here hangs a barometer, often consulted; there stands a case 
of mineralogical specimens. Every vacant niche is occupied 
by some statuette or Rogers's group, supported on carved 
brackets. There on the floor, in one corner, is a square ma- 
hogany dressing-case, once elegant, the gift of a member of 
a former parish, but now tarnished by years of hard use. At 
this end of the room, opposite the library, stands a bright- 
colored lounge, a gift of some of the ladies of his parish, and 
on it an elegant gray blanket, embroidered with his name, 
the memento of a friend found in "the sunset land." It was 
of this lounge that he wrote in the little story of " The Old 
Fisherman's Dream." 

" One day while very busy he heard a knock at the door 
of his house. ' Oh dear !' says he, ' I hope it is not any body 
that wants to see me. I am so hurried, I can't see any one.' 



I 



HIS STUDY. 435 

Just then a head was thrust into the door : ' Father, some- 
body wants to see you.' 'Well, child, I am very busy, but I 
have read somewhere. The man that wants to see me is the 
man that I want to see.' So he dropped his net and went 
to the door, and, lo ! there stood one of the finest pieces of 
furniture, called a lounge, that he had ever seen. It seemed 
too grand to enter his dwelling. The man who brought it 
said it was a present to the old fisherman. The children 
thought it must be intended for mother's parlor ; but the 
note accompanying said it was for his sole use and behoof. 
He rubbed his hands for joy, and the children cooed and 
wondered over it and admired ! Sure enough, there it stood 
in its fresh beauty. The legs were of black walnut, and had 
been many years growing in Ohio ; the casters were of brass, 
and were dug out of the mines of England ; the hair which 
filled it came from India; the varnish which made its legs 
so bright came from Japan ; the covering was full of roses 
and flowers and bright colors, that were gathered from dif- 
ferent countries, and woven into the brocatel in the looms 
of France. The netting of lace that covered the pillow, with 
the huge deer woven into it, was manufactured in Scotland. 
The materials for making this couch had been ages in pre- 
paring, had been brought thousands of miles, and had em- 
ployed the industry and the skill of men who live in difier- 
ent countries and who spoke diflerent languages. Is it any 
wonder that it was beautiful ? The note accompanying it 
intimated that it was from his friends, not to induce him to 
fish less, but to rest him when weary, and as a token of their 
approbation. So the first moment he could, the fisherman 
threw himself on it, and found it so perfect as to length, and 
width, and softness, and springiness, that in a few moments 
he Avas fast asleep, and as he slept he had a dream such as 
nothing but a new lounge could have created. He dreamed 
that, instead of being a poor fisherman, he was a minister of 
the Gospel. The lounge was changed into a pulpit, and he 
was in it ! Instead of the rolling waters of the sea, he was 
looking down on a great congregation. The fish were all 
changed into men and women and children. Instead of the 
net which he had been making was a sermon, from the text, 
'Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my dis- 
ciples, ye did it unto me.' He seemed to have a new cour- 



436 JOHN TODD. 

age and boldness, and he preached the Gospel of Christ with 
as much eifort and skill as he had ever used to catch fish. 
As he spoke, all at once there seemed to be a noise, as if a 
wind had struck the house, and then a golden net seemed to 
be let down from heaven, as he would have let it down in 
the sea, and the net gathered all the congregation, old and 
young, into it, and it seemed to draw them all up nearer the 
pulpit and nearer the minister. And then he perceived there 
was joy beaming upon their faces and flashing from their 
eyes, and they were heard to break forth into singing. The 
song swelled up louder and louder, till it filled the house, 
and rose up even to the heaven of heavens. Then the old 
fisherman awoke from his sleep and found himself weeping 
for joy, and felt that the most blessed of all employments in 
the world was to be ' fishers of men,' whether you do or do 
not have a beautiful lounge to rest on." 

On this "beautiful lounge" Doctor Todd spent many 
weary and sufi*ering hours. For though he was so strong 
and vigorous a man constitutionally, and was so cheery in 
manner and humorous in conversation that apparently he 
never knew fatigue or pain, there are few who have more 
infirmities to contend with, or who perform their work in 
greater distress. A dozen times in the course of a morn- 
ing's work he would stretch himself here for a moment, un- 
able to proceed without a little relief: the first thing that 
he did on returning from his pulpit was to throw himself 
here exhausted, and often in agony ; and whole days were 
spent here in enforced inaction. Never can the givers of 
this lounge realize how great their kindness was, or what a 
change it was for him to enter that " land which is very far 
off"," where "the inhabitants shall not say, I am sick." 

On the side of the room opposite the windows and the 
fire stands the mahogany table where, during all the later 
years of his life, all his writing was done. It is a quaint 
aflfair, of unknown origin, but dark with age. It came into 
his hands from those of a Baptist pastor in the place. On 
either side it has, in the lower part, drawers for papers, and 
above, small cupboards filled with pigeon-holes, closed with 
doors, and connected by a shelf. The pigeon-holes are filled 
with envelopes, sheets of paper, postal cards, wrappers of all 
shapes and sizes, to meet the demands of his immense and 



HIS STUDY. 437 

varied correspondence. The drawers are full of every kind 
of sermon-paper. The top of the table and shelf are cov- 
ered with small trinkets and conveniences. Here is a stick 
of sealing-wax, and there half a dozen old-fashioned seals. 
Here is a calendar, and there a railroad time-table ; here a 
card of post-office regulations, and there a porcelain slate, 
with a list of things to be done written on it. Here lies 
his watch, when not carried, a handsome gold lever, with a 
white carnelian seal, w*hich for years dangled from his fob 
when watches were so worn; and there lie his spectacles, 
always taken off when he sat down here. He always used 
quill pens, and several of them are lying about, each worse 
than all the rest, utterly useless to any one else; and there 
are three or four knives for mending them. 

"About twenty-five years ago a friend of mine was going 
to England, and I sent by him to get me a case (twelve) of 
good pen-knives. I wanted the best, and enough to last me 
as long as I live. To be very sure, I went and bought just 
such a knife as I wanted, and sent it out as a sample. When 
my friend got to Sheffield, he called on a friend of his. In 
the course of conversation he mentioned my knives, and was 
assured that he could have them made just like the pattern. 
The pattern-knife was in his hand, and on going down to 
breakfast he laid it on the mantel-piece. While they were 
gone down to breakfast a little black chimney-sweep came 
in, and, seeing my knife, stole it and made off with it. They 
were sorry, but the knife and the sweep were gone. My 
friend got a case of knives for me ; but they were not like 
the pattern, nor such as were adapted to making good pens. 
For twenty-five years I have been making pens with a poor 
knife. One of these poor knives is now before me. The 
pen that I write with was made with it. But I have never 
had a good knife, and seldom a good pen." 

In one corner stands one of Fairbanks's little letter-scales, 
of which he was the first to suggest the idea to the late 
Governor Fairbanks ; and in another, within easy reach, lie 
his well-worn Bible and Greek Testament, the latter a large 
copy of magnificent print, over which his father-in-law and 
his invalid daughter had successively pored, till they went 
to speak the language of heaven. And in the midst of all, 
directly before the eye, side by side in two little easel- 



438 JOHN TODD. 

frames, are pictures of the two dead children whose going 
took away so much of his life. Overhead hangs a beautiful 
clock of the regulator style, in a glass case — the gift of his 
associates on the committee for the entertainment of the 
American Board, at their second meeting in Pittsfield, as a 
tribute to his laborious and energetic management. At one 
side stands a small movable table, loaded with lexicons and 
maps. Beneath the table is a crowded waste-basket, and a 
round soap-stone, designed to warm the feet when too great 
activity of the brain has disturbed the circulation. Before 
the table stands a capacious but plain cane rocking-chair, in 
which, wrapped in a loose study-gown to receive company, 
but in his shirt-sleeves always when at work, sat the one 
whose presence lent to every thing its greatest charm. 

It will be perceived that in Doctor Todd's '' study " there 
is nothing of any very great intrinsic value ; yet this de- 
scription, heightened by touches from his own pen, is impor- 
tant on other accounts than merely as a frame to set off a 
picture of the man and his life. It reveals very much of his 
character, the affectionateness which clung to each token of 
friendship or memorial of the departed, the gratitude and 
self-depreciating humility with which each trilling gift was 
treasured, and the imaginativeness which, with a simple 
walking-stick, as with a magician's wand, could call up 
throngs of figures and scenes of thrilling interest; or in 
the sound of a falling jet of water could hear the voices of 
lauorhingj and singjino^ fairies, or the tinklinoj of jrolden balls 
in silver cups ; or in cheap Parian images could see angels 
gazing into the fountain of life. To him nothing of it all 
was cheap or common. Ever}- where, but especially here, a 
thousand images unseen of others rose before him ; and in 
looking at the objects which he gathered around him, and 
in the midst of which he sat, and thought, and labored, and 
prayed, we see but the keys which unlocked the world in 
which he really lived. " You would hardly think," wrote he 
to a friend, "that a man of my age and granite features and 
long experience should still have to mourn that he lives too 
much, and too often, in an imaginary state, surrounded by 
circumstances so very different from realities ; yet so it is." 
And as in this account of his study we get an insight into 
his character, so, on the other hand, we obtain from it 



HIS STUDY. 439 

glimpses of the springs which fed his mental life and gave 
him influence and power. It was from this furniture and its 
associations that he drew much of his inspiration. Every 
article, freighted with memories and fxncies, has had its in- 
fluence upon his thought and its expression ; and though his 
pen is idle, and his little fountain is silent, and his clock is 
still, and his study is dismantled, and its contents scattered, 
and the familiar spot wnll continue to exist only in fond 
memories, yet, in impressions made on immortal minds, and 
direction given to human lives, it will remain, lasting as a 
picture of eternity. 



I 



440 JOHN TODD. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 

DOCTOR TODD AS A PEEACHER. 

Ambition to be a Preacher. — Conception of tlie Office. — Tlie Greatest of 
Sciences. — Middle Ground. — His Doctrines. — No uncertain Sound. — Prac- 
tical Preaching. — Reverence for the Word of God.— No Doubts.— Com- 
mentaries. — Henry. — David and Paul. — Jonathan Edwards. — Thomas 
Chalmers.— Extempore Preaching. — Planning a Sermon.— Manner of 
Writing. — Careless Style. — Appearance in the Pulpit. — Dress. — Beauty. — 
Voice. — Manner. — Prayers. — Hymns. — Characteristics of Preaching. — 
Simple Language.— Thought.— Hlustration. — Solemnity.— Purifying the 
Fountain. — Knowledge of Human Nature. — Pathos,— Enthusiasm. — Im- 
agination. — Dramatic Power.— The Mount of God. — "It doth not yet 
appear." 

"I WISH I knew how to preach, has been the cry of ray 
heart a thousand times. I once thought I did know, but 
that was a long time ago." 

" I have never sought to be or to do any thing but to be 
a true minister of Christ. Preaching has been my great ef- 
fort. I early determined to do what else I could, but, at all 
events, to make the pulpit the place of my strength." 

To be a preacher was, indeed, his great ambition all his 
life long, as it was also his chief joy. All other employ- 
ments were made secondary and subservient to this supreme 
business of preaching the Gospel. It is, therefore, mainly as 
2^ preacher that he is to be estimated and remembered. 

In his conception of the office of a preacher, the applica- 
tion of divine truth to the hearts and consciences of men 
stood most prominent. Hence the most important qualifi- 
cation for the work of the ministry, after a sanctified heart, 
was, in his opinion, a thorough theological training; and 
whenever he was called to aid in settling a minister, he 
never failed to judge of the candidate's abilities and prob- 
able success by his appearance in his theological examina- 
tion. Not that he approved of preaching scientific theology 
— in all his ministry he never preached but one course of 
sermons on theology, and could never be induced to repeat 
it — but he took the ground that no man can present truth 



DOCTOR TODD AS A PREACHER. 441 

clearly and forcibly who has not its principles thoroughly 
comprehended and scientifically unfolded in his own mind. 
His own studies in theology were from the first unremitted 
and severe, and there was no subject which had such inter- 
est for him as this " greatest of sciences." 

The theology which he accepted was what in these days 
is considered old-fashioned, but in point of fact it occupied 
a middle ground between Old -school Presbyterianisra and 
modern Taylorism, both of which he cordially detested. 
For the distinctions and controversies of the " schools," how- 
ever, he cared very little. The doctrines with which he 
chiefly concerned himself w^ere those which are held and 
preached by all evangelical schools and sects — "the fall and 
ruin of man, the trinity of the Godhead, the divinity and 
atonement of Christ, the necessity of being born of the Holy 
Spirit, the eternity of heaven and hell, the unchanging con- 
dition of the soul after death, and the greatness of God's 
character." These doctrines he employed incessantly, and 
expended upon them all his skill and power. And he wel- 
comed all who held to them as co-laborers in the Gospel, 
with a cordiality which endeared him to all evangelical de- 
nominations, and repudiated fellowship with all who re- 
jected them with a sternness w^hich earned for him the un- 
dying hatred of Unitarians. It was to this treatment of 
divine truths that he attributed all his success as a pi-eacher. 
" If I have ever had any power over my fellow-men, it has 
been by plainly and faithfully preaching God's word, and 
clearly stating my convictions, and the reasons for them. I 
have tried to have the trumpet give no uncertain sound." 

Oi practical preaching, as it is called, the rebuking, of spe- 
cific sins of his hearers, he did very little; and the preaching 
of politics, and the cheap eloquence of the denunciation of 
those who did not hear him, he left wholly to others. In 
this, no one who knew him, or who reads the story of his 
Groton ministry, will accuse him of/e«r, a feeling of which 
he seems to have been incapable, or of a desire to 2yropitiate 
his hearers. The course which he pursued was adopted from 
principle, and a settled conviction that it was the one most 
likely to make his hearers better. " I have not been accus- 
tomed to name and preach against any particular amuse- 
ments — theatres, dramas, card-playing, and the like. I have 

29 



442 JOHN TODD. 

thought it best to inculcate the great principles of the Bible 
on the conscience, to make the tree good, and the heart holy, 
and then to trust the tree would bring forth good fruits. I 
have tried to make you live and act 'as seeing Him who is 
invisible.' In my own experiences I have got along very 
comfortably, and been measurably cheerful, though I was 
never in a theatre, at the opera, or in a ball-room ; never 
saw a game of cards or billiards played. And you have all 
known, by my way of educating my own family, precisely 
how I have looked upon these things. I have often noticed 
that people are so much like children, that if you denounce 
an amusement, or a bad book, they will be sure to seek it. 
Let the pulpit recommend one good book, and perhaps one 
will buy it ; let it denounce a bad book, and ten will buy it. 
That is human nature." 

The basis of his theology, and of all his preaching, was 
the Bible. In accepting his call to the first church under 
his care, he wrote : " In my preaching I shall keep closely to 
the Word of God ; by this I would have you test my instruc- 
tions." And to this he faithfully adhered through his whole 
ministry. To interpret and expound the Word of God, 
rather than to philosophize and speculate, was, in his opin- 
ion, the business of the preacher. Often his sermons were 
expository; often they were studies of Scripture characters; 
often they were presentations of great facts and truths 
taught in the Scriptures; and always they were full of 
Scripture language and imagery, and appealed to Scripture 
authority. For the Bible he always entertained the deepest 
reverence. To him it was truly the Word of God. It was 
a feeling which the Andover professors of his day enter- 
tained to a remarkable degree, and with which they inspired 
the students. It was a feeling derived from his ver}^ earliest 
training. No objections or difficulties raised by scientific 
men ever shook his confidence in the Scriptures ; he was ready 
to reject at once all scientific speculations that conflicted 
with what he Jcneio to be true. Perhaps he was too ready 
to scout at scientific theories, and had too little consideration 
for honest doubt ; but to him skepticism was not merely un- 
kno^vn, it was simply unintelligible. He probably never had 
an hour of doubt of the Bible in all his life. To him it was 
like the sun in the heavens, as great and as indubitable. 



DOCTOR TODD AS A PREACHER. 443 

He was accustomed to read and study the Scriptures a 
great deal, but was always more interested in exploring 
their thought than in critically examining their languao-e. 
He read them in the original very little, though he made a 
practice of examining his texts carefully before writino- on 
them, and the commentaries that he used and recommended 
were those which paid more attention to the matter than the 
language of the Sacred Writings. " For a practical thing, 
Henry is the best, far the best, that I have seen. But Pooled 
'Synopsis' is the great gun, after all. Henry is excellent in 
his place, but Poole has great ubiquity. The Germans are 
cold, carving critics ; Poole is a collector of all the shrewd 
heads that ever wrote on the Bible ; Doddridge is flat in his 
paraphrasing, but pious in his improvement and judicious in 
his notes; Henry is rich, jewels in dirt, and jewels in minia- 
ture, truly pious, and does your own heart good to read 
him ; and Scott is the most dull of all horned cattle. I have 
tried to sell mine, but no one will buy ; so shall pile it up 
for posterity." So high did Henry stand in his estimation, 
that in the earliest part of his ministry he frequently "rode 
eight miles to spend an hour with the book;" and, in the lat- 
ter part of his life, testified in an equally striking manner 
that his opinion of it had not changed. "In the year 1858 
I wrote and published * Lectures to Children, Second Series.' 
Thomas Nelson & Sons, of Edinburgh, Scotland, immediately 
republished the little book, and as a token of their appre- 
ciation sent me a present in money. With that money, as a 
kind of memento of the gift, and of my estimation of Mat- 
thew Henry's commentary, and of my love for my children, 
I have devoted it to the purchase of a set of Henry for each 
of my daughters, and I hereby express my earnest desire 
that they will read a portion of it daily." For German com- 
mentaries, though he bought and read many of them, he al- 
ways expressed the utmost contempt. Of one of them he 
writes: "It is a labored effort upon words, and can be of no 
use an inch farther than it aids in reaching the seiise of the 
(Scriptures. I love to see accuracy and discrimination ; but 
to exhaust the resources of a great and immortal mind upon 
the niceties and shades of a word seems to me like gather- 
ing the forces of a world to pick up a straw." 

Of Scripture characters there were two whom he especial- 



444 JOHN TODD. 

ly admired, and who exerted a great iiiflueDce upon his own 
thoughts and feelings — David and Paul. The former at- 
tracted him by his poetry and devotion and truth to human 
experience ; the latter, by the breadth and profundity of his 
thought ; and both, by their attitude toward Christ. David 
was his master in the study of hmiiayi nature — Paul, in the 
study of the divine; and few were the sermons in which he 
did not refer to the one or the other of these masters in 
Israel in terms of admiration. 

Of other masters of religious thought and ministry there 
were two especially who exerted an influence upon his char- 
acter and thought and style — Jonathan Edwards and 
Thomas Chalmers. 

The works of Edwards were among the first that he stud- 
ied, and it was from these, and from the "Assembly's Cate- 
chism," which he learned in childhood, that he drew the ma- 
terial for his theological system. At the Edwards gather- 
ing in Stockbridge, he expressed his appreciation of Edwards 
thus : " When a young student, I found a woman among the 
fevers of the rice -swamps of South Carolina who amazed 
and confounded me by her knowledge of theology. She 
was so far above me that I felt myself to be nothing. The 
secret was, that she had for years lived upon the works of 
Jonathan Edwards. In the revival in Yale College in 1820, 
under the teachings of Asahel Nettleton, after many wres- 
tlings of the spirit and intellect, I deliberately adopted the 
theology of this master in Israel, and have as yet never 
grown great enough, or wise enough, to change. A little 
later, down on Cape Cod, I met an old deacon who, for pro- 
found and accurate theology, might have been a theological 
professor, and before whom I fairly stood in awe. He, too, 
for years had lived and grown on a set of Edwards's works. 
Afterward, I had a parisliioner who had read 'Edwards on 
the Afiections' through six times, and he was a giant in the- 
ology. Afterward I married a wife, and it was years before 
I found out what made her so much my superior; but when 
I discovered that she belonged to the Edwards family, and 
that she had their blood in her veins, I gave up the contest, 
and have admitted all that she demanded ever since. When 
called to the pastorate of an infant church in Northampton, 
I found that most of my flock were descendants of those 



DOCTOR TODD AS A PEE A CHER. 445 

who bad been ^Ir. Edwards's fast friends tlirough all bis 
troubles tbere ; and I bad the bonor to propose to tbem, and 
see tbem cbeerfully assent, tbat we sbould call tbe eburcb 
'Tbe Edwards Cburcb ' — a perpetual memorial of Edwards. 
Tbe council wbicb bad organized tbe cburcb objected to tbe 
name, and questioned tbe wisdom of it, till I finally bad to 
tell tbem tbat we submitted our creed and covenant for 
tbeir action, but tbe name of tbe cburcb was our own, and 
tbat we did 7iot submit. And wben I add tbat I gave tbe 
name of Edwards to a son now in tbe ministry, I tbink I 
have establisbed my claim to be among tbose wbo admire 
tbe great character of Edwards, and to sit among tbose wbo 

weave garlands to lay upon bis tomb tbis day We 

hardly know which most to admire and wonder over in tbe 
ministry of Edwards — bis original and luminous investiga- 
tions, bis weighty sermons and powerful preaching, bis great 
and permanent contributions to human thought and elucida- 
tion of divine truth, his meekness and gentleness under an 
ordeal tbat few could endure, bis power in directing and 
controlling the churches when heaving with excitement, and 
his bringing tbem back to Scriptural views, or in tbe com- 
bined greatness, simplicity, and strength of character by 
which be still walks the earth, and which will cause bis foot- 
steps to echo on the shores of time till Truth will no longer 
need to contend with Error, because her victory is complete 
and her triumph is eternal.*' 

But the teacher at whose feet Mr. Todd most delighted to 
sit, and by whom he was most influenced, was Doctor Chal- 
mers. On receiving the tidings of his death, he wrote and 
preached one of bis ablest and most characteristic sermons, 
in which he said, " Perhaps there never could be minds 
more unlike than that of Chalmers and that of your humble 
pastor ; and yet I have never met the uninspired character 
wbicb I have so much admired, or which has had so great 
an influence upon me." That tbere was unlikeness must be 
admitted ; and yet it was unquestionably a certain likeness 
wbicb drew tbe pupil toward the teacher; and it was un- 
doubtedly increased, without any conscious imitation, by 
their communion. In his preaching Chalmers aimed not so 
much to show the excellence of virtue and the evil of vice, 
and to induce reformation, as first of all to reach the hearts 



446 JOHN TODD. 

and consciences of his hearers by setting forth the aliena- 
tion of the heart from God, and the offers of grace through 
Jesus Christ; in his course of thought lie endeavored to lift 
his audience into higher and broader regions; in his style 
he employed, instead of the simple and severe logic of 
Edwards, language that was amplified and beautified by a 
soaring imagination ; in his parochial duties he was practi- 
cal, laborious, and systematic; "in manners, habits, and feel- 
ings he was a child ;" in his work " he came nearer task- 
ing all his powers of mind, and living up to his capacities, 
than most men." These are the points especially noticed in 
the sermon referred to, and these are the very points most 
marked in the preacher's own character and ministry. "Is 
there," he asks, " a congregation in the world that will 
not sometimes receive illustrations of truth which he has 
wrought out ? Is there one mind here to-day that has not, 
however unconscious of it, been enlightened by the light 
which he has poured abroad?" It is certain that while he 
was too original and strong and proud to imitate or ape 
any man, he was peculiarly fitted to receive, and did receive 
and manifest in his whole character and ministry, the influ- 
ence, more than of any other man, of Thomas Chalmers. It 
was by such teachers that he was formed as a preacher. 

It was his original intention to preach much of the time 
without notes. " I intend to preach extemporaneously half 
of the time after I am settled, and half written sermons. I 
am persuaded that no man can be really eloquent very fre- 
quently who is wholly confined to notes." For some years 
this resolution was faithfully kept — in part, of necessity — 
and not without satisfactory results. " I preach extempore 
in the pulpit about one half of the time, and these sermons 
do by far the most good." But gradually a practical diflS- 
culty arose. "I have been applying myself more closely to 
study than usual of late, and I find it brings me back to my 
old feelings : I can not speak extempore Avhen I study hard. 
The reason I can not assign ; the fact I am sure of." As he 
was determined not to abandon study, and become an empty- 
headed, flashy speaker, he was naturally led to w^rite out his 
sermons more and more, till in the last part of his ministry 
he seldom spoke from tlie pulpit without at least very full 
notes. 



f 



DOCTOR TODD AS A PREACHER. 447 

His habit in writing was, first, to select a text and map 
out a train of thought upon it. This was done, generally, 
not in his study, but in his walks or rides, or in sleepless 
hours, or whenever his mind met a suggestion, or fell into a 
constructive mood. The next step was to trace the skeleton 
on paper, as quickly and as fully as possible. "A i^w nights 
since, as I was watching over my sick child, the text, 'As for 
God, his way is perfect,' came into my mind with great force, 
and, taking my pencil, I marked out the particular train of 
thought which I am about to present to you." 

In writing out the sermon, he did not bind himself to 
any regular hours, though he usually wrote in the forenoon, 
when he was freshest and strongest ; nor did he have to 
wait for inspiration; he seemed to have the power of com- 
manding the faculty of composition at pleasure. While 
writing, he sat in a low rocking-chair, so that his eyes were 
near the desk, his coat off, and his shirt-cuffs rolled back, his 
collar loosened or torn off, his glasses laid aside, and a warm 
soap-stone at his feet to counteract the tendency of the blood 
to the head. He always wrote with a quill, and he wrote 
without stopping for an instant. "While engaged in writing, 
he was entirely absorbed in his work. One of his first pa- 
rishioners, referring to an occasion when several persons were 
in his study, w^rites : " While we were sewing, and chatting, 
and laughing in his study, all in the most hilarious spirits, 
he would sit at his table so absorbed in writing a sermon 
as to be unconscious of persons or conversation in the room. 
But when he reached a point, or was tired, he would in- 
stantly drop the pen, and strike off in couA'ersation with 
wonderful buoyancy and humor. Then, feeling rested, he 
would as suddenly take up the pen, and fall back into ab- 
straction. He possessed concentration and elasticity of mind 
in far greater degree than any man I ever knew." These 
qualities remained with him through life. His study-door 
was seldom locked, and conversation, and even children's 
play, unless too boisterous, rarely disturbed him. In fact, 
his abstraction was so great that he became unconscious of 
what he was doing, and in pursuing a train of thought would 
fall into most ludicrous errors of spelling and grammar, and 
into a very imperfect and disjointed style. " I strike only for 
the thought, write with great rapidity, and have no time to 



448 JOHX TODD. 

examine the wheelbarrow in which I trundle my ideas and 
impressions." Most of his errors he would detect as quickly 
and laugh at as heartily as any one, on reading over what 
he had written ; but, unfortunately, it was not always so easy 
to correct his sentences as to detect their faults, without 
wholly reconstructing them; and as he cared but little for 
rhetorical finish, provided he was understood, he allowed his 
works to remain full of lingual errors, for the enjoyment of 
critics who strain at gnats and swallow camels. After writ- 
ing for an hour or so, he would drop his pen, and spring up 
and stretch himself, and walk up and down the room, or 
busy himself with his tools or traps, singing meantime, in a 
not unmelodious but perfectly uncultivated voice, some stave 
of a tune that ear never heard and it never entered the 
heart of man to conceive before. In later years he often 
made a flying visit down to "Mary's room," and exchanged 
a few words and laughs with the suffering prisoner there, 
and those who were with her. After such an interval of a 
few moments, he would return to his desk, and in a moment 
be as rapidly at work as ever. Dinner seldom came before 
the sheets of at least half a sermon lay scattered on the floor. 
On Sunday morning he invariably shut himself up in his 
study with his sermons, and we would hear him for an hour 
or more, reading over in a loud voice, and familiarizing him- 
self with, what he was about to preach. His appearance in 
the pulpit was so striking that few^ who have seen it will 
need any description to recall it vividly to their memory. 
In the prime of life he was tall and straight, and finely pro- 
portioned, and wore a close-fitting dress-coat. In later years 
he was a little bent by infirmity, and preferred a frock-coat, 
buttoned up in military style. In cool weather he often 
w^ore an immense broadcloth cloak, which had a great velvet 
collar and reached quite to his heels. It was a garment pe- 
culiar to himself, but, as he sometimes said, " Our fami